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MSNBC
Apr 19, 2013 3:00am PDT
. pete williams reports they later car-jacked a suv near the mit campus and keeping the car's owner at gun point and releasing the person unharmed later. >> police followed that car to watertown as is in lockdown right now. the suspects at that point threw explosive devices from their car. at some point during the standoff, they had at least one pressure cooker bomb similar to the ones used in the marathon bombing. one suspect killed in the shoot-out. the one in the black hat. he reportedly then was run over and when police approached his body, they discovered an ied strapped to his chest. witnesses reporting hearing explosions, massive gun battle between the suspects and police. here is what adam kitzenberg told us not long ago. >> i went to the window and right outside of our apartment, there were two shooters in between a sedan and a black mercedes-benz suv. and they were in between these two cars taking cover behind the black suv, shooting down our street which is laurel street and they were shooting westward towards what looked to be about six -- six to ten watertown police dep
MSNBC
Apr 19, 2013 2:00am PDT
this location. i saw them bring in a city bus here. i initially wondered why they were bringing that city bus in here, in case they needed to put up another one of those blast shields. but it's now parked itself in a different location. mara. >> all right. kerry sanders, thank you. it is now top of the hour, 5:00 eastern time. some six hours since this story began to unfold with a shooting on the campus of m.i.t. i want to bring in now nbc news justice correspondent pete williams, who's been in touch with his law enforcement sources on this story all night. pete, what can you tell us? >> well, i guess there's several things we're trying to nail down. i guess the big question here now is who are they? we've heard from a couple of officials that they don't have a positive identification on them, but they've been tentatively identified. they believe, at least it's the initial assessment of the two law enforcement people i've talked to, that they came to the u.s. about a year ago. we don't know precisely from where. they may have some -- a bit of military experience overseas, which could possibly explain their facility with explosives. and that is our operating assumption right now. it appears that this all started when they tried to rob a 7-eleven tonight. a policeman responded. they killed the policeman. that set off all this whole chain of events to the carjacking, to the point that one of them stopped the car in watertown, massachusetts. the other got out with an improvised bomb strapped to his chest. he was shot and killed. the second one, the one with the white hat, got away and is still at large. >> and pete, we've heard -- we know that one officer was killed overnight. that was the m.i.t. campus police officer. we've heard a transit officer has also been critically injured. do we know anything more about his condition? what are you hearing about that? >> no, i think we don't know anything about his condition. we've heard conflicting reports about it, so we don't know one way or the other. >> all right. pete williams live in d.c. we should note, we've been covering this story all night, since it started at 11:00 at night. we were uncertain throughout the night whether any of these events were linked. it started with reports of a shooting at m.i.t. then it turned to the violence that was taking place at watertown. then while all of this was taking place, we were hearing reports of a carjacking. we were hearing reports of a robbery at a 7-eleven. we didn't know if any of this was related. we didn't know if any of this was related to the boston marathon bombing. throughout the night, we've been trying to ascertain what was what. we wanted to make sure we were very responsible in our reporting and not jump to any conclusions that we didn't have evidence to support. at this time, here's what we can now reasonably conclude. law enforcement officials believe that this all began last night when those two suspects in the boston marathon bombing, the men they released photos of on thursday, those two men you're seeing on the screen, tried to rob a 7-eleven last night. now, at some point, they came into contact with that m.i.t. police officer who officials say was responding to reports of a disturbance. he was shot. he was killed. they carjacked a man and tried to make a getaway. police pursued them. they ended up in watertown. that's where that gunfight broke out. there was a massive exchange of gunfire between these two men. i want to listen to that video quickly. [ gunfire ] >> there's explosions and gunfire going on down the street. >> this is video of that gunfight between those two suspects and police. during the course of that gunfight, they also threw explosives at officers. i want to bring in a man who had a front-row seat to all of this. he was watching it from his apartment window. that window overlooks the street where all of this was taking place. andrew, can you tell us some detail on what you saw last night? >> yeah, so i was actually in my living room at the time. it was about 12:45, 12:50. i heard a couple gunshots, or what i thought were gunshots. so i went to the window cautiously and peeked over. i saw two shooters in between a sedan and a black mercedes benz suv. they were taking cover behind the suv, shooting down my block. they were shooting about 70 to 80 yards down the street at officers. it was about six or so, maybe a few more, watertown police department vehicles. there were two shooters. while they were engaging in fire, for at least three or four minutes, they were also using explosives. and they had -- they were throwing explosives at the officers, what seemingly could have been grenades. i could feel those shocks and those explosions right outside and feel them coming into our apartment. after a couple of those explosions, they actually utilized another explosive device, which was much larger. from my window and my vantage point, i could see this device pretty closely, which looked similar to a pressure cooker bomb, which i've seen pictures of in the past week. so i actually saw them from about 35, 40 feet away in my bedroom window. they lit it and also threw it towards the officers. it did not come too close to the officers, but it did create a significant explosion and significant smoke that basically covered our entire street. really, used at what was seemingly a decoy. at that point, one of the shooters ran towards the officers, continuing to fire. and as he ran forward, continuing to shoot at them, he went down. i did not see clearly whether he went down by force and being tackled or if he was shot. i didn't see that clearly. but he went down. while that happened, the second shooter got back into the black mercedes-benz suv and turned it around and basically floored it right at the watertown police vehicles. at that point, he was going full speed and went right in between two or three vehicles, sideswiping them, taking out their doors and their windows. ultimately, he did get through those vehicles, but i didn't see after that what had happened. >> andrew, i should note we're showing some of the photos you took. you took a number of photos as this was happening. you provided an amazing account of this entire thing, and you posted them on your twitter account, which is @akit. thank you so much for that account. i want to go now live to lester holt, who is on the ground in watertown, massachusetts. lester? >> reporter: well, mara, they're considering even locking down watertown while this suspect is still on the loose. behind me is the area they've roped off. inside, s.w.a.t. teams are methodically moving through the air yre area. number of concerns here. suspect number two, the suspect with the white hat. those photographs released by the fbi yesterday. there he is. he's a man on the loose, still believed to be armed and having engaged in the shootout with police here earlier this morning. the other concern is unexploded devices that were tossed from the vehicle, securing those. so for that reason, they have asked people to stay indoors. they said if anybody comes to their door, knocks on their door, don't answer but to call 911. the police chief said right now this is a public safety emergency. they're very concerned about the safety of the people in this community while this active investigation, this active search is under way for this very dangerous suspect. back at the scene, they continue to try to render and check out all the objects there to render them safe, making sure that all unexploded devices that may be there have been rendered safe. so very, very tense situation here. we saw a number of folks out in the street earlier. most seem to have gone back to their homes, heeding the advice of authorities here at what is still a very, very dangerous situation unfolding here. mara? >> lester, do you get the sense that law enforcement believes this suspect is still in the watertown area? or do they believe he may have fled to one of the surrounding areas? >> reporter: well, i think they're working on the theory he's still inside this perime r perimeter. that said, when we got to this location a couple hours ago, we did see a number of police cars leaving the scene, leaving this area. they may be extending to an even wider area. right now, they seem to be concentrating their search inside this area behind us. >> all right. lester holt live in watertown. we should note that nbc news' kerry sanders reported a short time ago that officers there in watertown on the ground seemed to be on very high alert. kerry seems to believe, in fact, that officers are thinking that the suspect is still in that area. if you're just joining us, i want to bring you up to speed on a significant number of developments that have taken place overnight related to the boston marathon bombing case. one of the suspects in that case is dead. one of the suspects remains at large. the suspect that is at large is the one that has been referred to as suspect number two in the photos that were released yesterday. he's the one that is shown wearing the white baseball hat. you can see him there on the right on your screen. this man remains at large, and officials are saying that he's armed and dangerous. they are advising the public to use extreme caution as they wake up this morning and proceed with their days. one of the officers saying, quote, we believe this to be a terrorist. we believe this to be a man who has come to kill people. very clear, very stark language about the threat faced to the public by this man. again, this is the one referred to as suspect number two. he remains at large. this all began last night around 10:00 at night. it started with a robbery at 7-eleven. officials say these two men, the two suspects in the boston bombing case, tried to rob a 7-eleven. there was also around that time an m.i.t. campus police officer in cambridge who was responding to reports of a disturbance, presumably something related to this robbery. during his response to that disturbance, he was shot and killed. those two suspects then carjacked a man and tried to make a getaway, but police pursued them. they ended up in watertown where they exchanged in fire fight. a hail of gunfire was exchanged between those two suspects and police in the area. we have home video of that shootout. let's listen. it's powerful. [ gunfire ] >> there's explosions and gunfire going on down the street. [ rapid gunfire ] >> after an evening, several hours of unbelievable developments early this morning, police held a press conference where they briefed the public and the press on the latest in this developing case. let's take a listen. >> the pursuit went into a residential neighborhood not far from here, where there was an exchange of gunfire between watertown police, nbta police officer, and two suspects in suv. during the course of that pursuit, several explosive devices were discharged from the car at the police officers. in the exchange of the gunfire, we believe that one of the suspects was struck and ultimately taken into custody. a second suspect was able to flee from that car, and there is an active search going on at this point in time. an mbta police officer was struck during that exchange of gunfire and is currently at the auburn hospital in critical condition. there is an active search by tactical teams from nemlec and the boston police department. the watertown police department are involved in this search as well as traffic diversion throughout the area. the most important message that we are doing right now is for public safety and the safety of those people in that neighborhood. we are asking everyone to shelter in place for the time being, not to leave their homes. if they see something suspicious, other than a police officer coming to their door, they should call 911 immediately. we also want to forewarn motorists traveling through this particular area. even though we're locked down in this neighborhood, they should not stop for anyone and pick up anyone along the side of the roadway. what we're looking for right now is a suspect consistent with the description of suspect number two, the white-capped individual, who was involved in monday's bombing of the boston marathon. we have a picture, a video from the 7-eleven in cambridge last night that he is dressed in a gray hoodie-type sweatshirt. he's a light caucasian male with longer brown curly hair. you've seen the picture. you all have it. that's the individual we're looking for at this moment. >> that's suspect number two? >> that's suspect number two, the white-capped individual. >> suspect number one was shot then? >> that's correct. >> so suspect number one was the one the fbi -- >> i just want to be clear, we'll do regular updates to this. right now, we're in a public safety mode here. our immediate concern is for those people in the neighborhood up there. we have an active search going on by tactical teams to locate and apprehend this particular individual. he should be considered armed and dangerous and is a threat to anybody that might approach him. so please, use extreme caution and stay in your homes. if you hear something, if you see something unusual, we'd like you to call 911. >> and in addition to that armed and dangerous suspect on the loose, police are saying that there may be unexploded devices in and around watertown. so they are considering the possibility of locking down that entire area. i want to bring in now nbc news justice correspondent pete williams. pete, we're hearing a little bit more about who these people may be, that they may have recently come to the country. >> yeah, a little more i think is the operant term here. they're still waiting to positively identify them. these are not individuals that had wallets with their driver's licenses in them. so this is taking a while. but they believe that these two men came to the u.s. about a year ago and may have some overseas military experience. we're not positive where they came from. we don't have positive identification on them. i will say this, though. there's been a lot of speculation both on our facilities and elsewhere that one of these men, one of these suspects is a student that went missing from brown university in march. i'm told by several officials that that's not the case. that this is not one of those people. so let's just put that to rest too. i've heard other people talking about that tonight on our facilities and speculating about it. i'm told that is not the case. we don't have the names of the two. they're trying now to get those and say something more about that. it is interesting that one of the boston authorities at that local news conference did say that one of these men came here to kill people. so we've heard from several authorities, both privately and publicly, saying that they believe these are people who recently came to the u.s., perhaps within the past year. >> and pete, your sources have been very instructive in helping us piece together the narrative, as i've mentioned, overnight. for the last seven hours, all of this has been taking place. we had no clue if any of it was related or it was just a coincidence all this criminal activity was happening around the same time. can you piece together the narrative of what happened last night based on what your sources are telling you? >> well, one of the interesting things here is this did not start because these people were -- that the fbi was about to arrest them or anyone was moving in on them. they instead apparently panicked five hours after the fbi showed their pictures. at a nationally televised news conference identifying them as the two people responsible for the boston marathon bombing. in the city of cambridge, massachusetts, which is just about four miles from boston, they shot a campus police officer in the head who was sitting in his police cruiser. they then tried to rob a 7-eleven. after that, they carjacked a man who was in a black suv. they started driving, held him at gunpoint, eventually released that man. by now, the police are chasing them to watertown, massachusetts, which is another, say, four miles away from cambridge. so now we're eight miles from boston. and they get into a shootout with police. the car stops. one of the men, the men who was identified by the fbi as wearing the black hat at the news conference on thursday, the black hatted man who was seen in all the pictures at the bombing, the left of your screen there, he, authorities say, got out of the suv with explosives strapped to his chest. he was shot and killed by police. the other man, the white-hatted individual, drove on, eventually abandoned the car, and now they're searching for him. >> all right. pete williams live in washington for us. thanks so much for that information, pete. we'll check back in with you soon. i want to go now to michael isikoff, who's live in watertown, who's also been working his sources to find out the very latest on the story. michael, what can you tell us? >> reporter: well, we believe that these individuals have international connections, that they're foreign nationals. they were here legally. we don't, at this point, know what their motive or what their cause is. we do have some more additional details about what transpired tonight. this began with a robbery at a 7-eleven in cambridge. in the course of that, an m.i.t. police officer was shot and killed in the head. at that point, there's a carjacking of this mercedes suv that pete williams was referring to. the victim of that carjacking was kept in the car with the two suspects for about half an hour as they drove and were -- a police chase ensued. those explosive devices were discharged. one of the suspects is now dead. the other is the man in the white baseball cap, the bomber, the suspected bomber. >> michael, sorry to cut you off, but i have to interrupt you because we want to go live now to a press conference at bette israel hospital. let's take a listen. >> my name is dr. kevin tab. i'm the ceo at the medical center. as dr. wolf said, we did receive this patient and were ready to receive as many casualties as we would need to be ready for. we currently have about 20 patients in the e.d., completely unrelated to this incident. we still do have 12 victims from the initial event hospitalized here at the hospital. one of them still in serious condition in the icu. we initially received 24 patients here from the original event on monday. the vast majority of those patients have been discharged. we are open and ready for any patients to come to the medical center this morning. although, we are restricting access to ensure safety for our patients, families, and visitors and asking people to show patience as they come in this morning. >> was that patient brought in under police guard tonight? >> that patient was brought in with police guard, yes. >> can you describe the injuries to the patient? >> i cannot. we do want to make available the physician that initially heard the events in watertown. >> so my name is dr. schonfeld. last night as i was doing some work at home and watching the news coverage of the officer involved shooting at m.i.t., i was sitting at home and able to hear the sounds of gunshots and explosions because i live in watertown. when i started hearing the gunshots and explosions, i recognized that something was really wrong and called the emergency department to let them know and then quickly got dressed to come into work and rushed over to the emergency department. >> how quickly did you get here? >> i arrived in the emergency department before the patient arrived. >> what time did you hear the gunshots? >> sometime after about 12:45. >> doctor, can you give us the name of the deceased? they're not releasing that? >> no. >> we don't have any information on the identity of the deceased patient. >> do you have an age? >> we don't have that information. >> can you give us a gender? >> it's an adult male. >> doctor, could you describe your feelings of being in watertown, hearing the noise, and you alert the e.r. you come into work and you end up seeing that same patient. that's sort of, i guess, a sad irony. >> so there's a couple of different parts to it. one, when i started hearing the gunshots and the explosions, given what had happened over at m.i.t. and seeing the police cars rushing into watertown past my house and hearing all the sirens, i knew or felt very strongly that this was related to the events from earlier this week as well week. i knew that warranted calling the emergency department and coming in. the emotions you sort of set aside when you come into go to work and do the job. >> did you actually work on the patient who had been shot and is deceased? >> so, i really don't want to talk about that. >> oh, okay. i was going to say, no one knew going into it. as a doctor, how do you deal with that? >> you give the best care you can to every patient that comes to you regardless of what may or may not be. you don't know what happened out there. you don't know who they are. you don't know what the circumstances are. so whether it was, you know, a suspect, an innocent, a police officer, you have no idea who it is when they arrive and you give them the best care that you can to try and help them. >> did you look out the window at all? did you see anything outside? >> i did go and look out the win dp doe. i did not see anything other than the police cars rushing into watertown. >> being an urban medical center, you get patients brought in under police guard all the time. was there anything different in the emergency room? was it more police officers than usual, anything to indicate this is very serious, what's happening here? >> so there was a large police presence when the patient arrived. more so than typical. >> were they able to talk to the patient at all and gleam anything from him? >> i can't speak to that. >> the police commissioner did say there was a suspect that was killed. can you confirm that suspect was here? >> no, we can't confirm at all. all we can say is a patient was brought in. we don't have anymore information than that. in fact, you probably have more information than we do about this. >> cause of death, sir? >> this was a trauma arrest. multiple injuries. probably, we believe, a combination of blasts, potentially gunshot wounds. >> how many gunshot wounds? >> unable to count. >> multiple gunshot wounds? >> yes. and probably a blast injury also. >> blast, meaning what? >> an explosive device, shrapnel. >> can you describe where it was? >> pretty much throughout the trunk. >> would it be consistent with perhaps a bomb strapped on? >> unclear. i think the medical examiner will be able to kind of conclusively say that. but there were signs of more than just gunshot wounds. >> injuries to the trunk? >> yes. >> multiple gunshots. >> we're going to take maybe two or three more questions. that's about all that we can say. >> did he lose a lot of blood? >> unable to say. >> do we know if he said anything? >> all we know is he arrived in arrest here. we don't really know what happened at the scene. >> so he was in cardiac arrest before he got into the emergency room? >> that's correct. >> and you worked on him for about 10 or 15 minutes or so? >> that's correct. >> okay. thank you very much. thank you. >> just heard from medical officials at beth israel hospital. this is the facility that treated the suspect, suspect number one, who came into their facility after a shootout with police. from what they said, what's most instructive to us right now, is the nature of his injuries. they said that he was in cardiac arrest prior to arriving. they worked on him for about 10 to 15 minutes. in terms of his injuries, they said he was suffering from more than just gunshot wounds. he had multiple injuries. a combination of blast wounds and gunshot wounds. in referring to the blast wounds, they went on to say that it seemed to be something consistent with wounds from an explosive device. there was evidence of shrapnel, burns, and it was throughout the trunk. that's all they would reveal at the time. they said they had no information about his identity or age. they could only say, quote, it was an adult male. they did say they try to give the same care to every patient. they worked on this man for about 10 to 15 minutes. he came in in cardiac arrest. i want to the throw it now to my colleague, who's going to take over coverage of this developing story. mika? >> mara, thank you. it's been an astonishing night of breaking news. reports of explosions and a massive gunfight with two men in watertown, massachusetts, as involved into a full-on man hunt. it's all connected to the terror attack at the boston marathon. boston's police commissioner confirms that one of the suspects is dead. the one in these pictures in the black hat from fbi surveillance video released yesterday. the suspect in the white hat remains at large. he's believed to be in a gray sweatshirt, and he's considered armed and extremely dangerous. in all of the violence, one m.i.t. police officer is dead. another officer is severely wounded. police are right now going door to door trying to find the second suspect somewhere in watertown. they're warning people in the area to stay in their homes, to lock up, to not let anybody in their homes unless they are police officers. it all began, apparently, when the suspects shot and killed an m.i.t. police officer, then tried to rob a 7-eleven. pete williams reports they later carjacked a mercedes suv near m.i.t.'s ca
MSNBC
Apr 19, 2013 1:00am PDT
. that's why i'm guessing there may have been a third. but i don't know. >> pete williams in d.c., thanks so much for that. >>> we heard from pete williams officials have one person in custody and there may be a second person who is a dead and there may be a third person at large. we don't want to use the term suspect inaccurately. as pete noted, there's some kind of ongoing threat in the area. this all began last night when witnesses reported hearing a number of explosions in watertown, massachusetts, at least three explosions, we heard that from a number of different witnesses. we also heard reports of firefights. one eyewitness telling us that there were too many gun shots to count. reports of evacuations of residents as that began to unfold. we heard from an eyewitness who saw the whole thing from his apartment. he said that it went on for quite some time and he saw a pressure cooker and hand grenade being thrown on the street. as these events have progressed, reporting has revealed that it's increasingly likely that in fact these suspects are in some way connected to the bos
MSNBC
Apr 19, 2013 12:00am PDT
were two shooters in between a sedan and a black mercedes benz suv and they were in between these two cars taking cover behind the black suv shooting down our street which is laurel street and they were shooting westward towards what looked to be about six to ten watertown police department vehicles. and they were shooting about what seemed to be 70, 80 yards down the street utilizing handguns. while they were engaging in gunfire, they were also using explosives. what seemed to be maybe grenades that they were throwing towards the officers. and the gunfire took place for a few minutes while they were utilizie inine ining explosives. they used what seemed to be a larger bomb. from my view, from my bedroom window on the third floor of our building, it was about -- i was about 35, 40 feet away and it looked to resemble a pressure cooker. what i've seen from other pictures online in the last few days. and they -- i saw them light this bomb and the picture that you're showing me right now was the site where the explosion was. and they lit it and that would be the bomb squad inspecting the site. but they threw it towards the officers and only got maybe 15 to 20 yards down. it wasn't very close to the officers. but it really created a significant decoy. and smoke got covered on the entire street. and at that point, one of the shooters ran towards the officers while still engaging in gunfire. and while he was still shooting at them a few seconds later, the second shooter got back into the suv and turned it around and went full speed into the police officers. just before he started charging at the officers and the vehicle, the first shooter that was running at them was taken down. and i didn't have a clear view. i couldn't tell whether he was shot or tackled, you know, the footage makes it seem like he was shot, but i couldn't see clearly. at that time, the second shooter was basically charging into the officers' vehicles at full speed. and went right in between them taking out their doors and windows and sideswiping them and getting through them and moving past our block and out of my view. >> and you mentioned earlier when we spoke, you saw what looked like a bomb detection robot on the scene. is that piece of equipment still there? >> actually, if you hold on one sec, i can look out that window. >> we would love to see the scene as you're seeing it in your home there. >> yeah, i can. it is actually right there still at the vehicle. and i'm going to walk my computer here. >> while you do that, let me explain what we're seeing, andrew is an eyewitness, his apartment overlooks the street where these explosions took place. he's going to try to show us a little bit of what he's seeing. is that the vehicle they were using for cover during that fire fight? >> yes, this was the smaller sedan. >> can you open your window? >> you know what? the bomb squad robot is there, i don't feel comfortable doing that. >> we want you to be safe. continue. >> so it is right now inspecting the backseat -- what it seems like the back left passenger door. and i just took some pictures and put them -- put one picture on twitter of the robot which is at aktiz. and right now it's inspecting the other side of the car. the car has been completely untouched. right next to the car, there are a few backpacks. and that's what looked like the shooters were carrying ammunition, explosives. and those backpacks are still on the ground next to the sedan. they have been untouched right now. seems like officers and the bomb squad are proceeding very cautiously in in facting the vehicle. >> well, you seem from the view we saw from your window, you're very close to that car and everything that's taking place. have you heard anything from law enforcement to you and other residents in the area about evacuating and staying toward the front of the building? >> yeah, we had. what seemed to be army personnel and knocked on our door, told us to lock up the doors, go to the back of the house and don't come out and stay low. >> is that where you are? you seem close to the activity. >> right now, we -- i'm with a few of my roommates here, and we're in the living room. kind of watching what's being televised so i can stay on skype with you. >> and you posted photos on twitter and you said your twitter handle is akitz. and you said you just posted a photo of the bomb robot. and earlier this evening, you posted some photos of bullet holes in your home. we're going to put those up. can you describe what was taking place at that time? >> yes, so, we actually -- my roommates and i didn't even notice the bullet holes until at least an hour and a half later. and then we saw the significant hole through the westward wall in our house. and went through my roommate's calendar and right through the chair. his computer desk chair. and the slug which we haven't touched is still sitting at the foot of his bed. >> and andrew, do you know if anyone has been injured? you mentioned one of the suspects may have been shot. do you know if there have been any injuries in this? >> i don't know. thankfully we're all safe. we're a little shaken up, we're all safe. i have no idea about anyone else on the street in our block. >> i want to keep you on with us. your eyewitness account is unbelievable, riveting. and we have a new statement by the fbi. the fbi says, quote, we are aware of the law enforcement activity in the greater boston area, the situation is ongoing. we are working with local authorities to determine what happened. this, of course, is in response to these developments taken place overnight. quite a news night in boston this evening. in the boston area. an m.i.t. campus police officer was responding to reports of a disturbance. he was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. no arrests have been made. officials say there were no other victims in that case. but they do continue to search for that suspect. we don't know if that was related to what happened in watertown just a few hours later where eyewitnesss like andrew report having heard three explosions and a number of gun shots. one witness said there were too many to count and that is consistent with what we've heard from andrew this evening saying there was a fire fight. an extensive fire fight with law enforcement officers there. and andrew's account is that one of the suspects was tackled and taken into custody and that the other one perhaps got away. i want to go to pete williams in washington, d.c. pete, what can you tell us about what's happening here this evening? >> el with, i think there's ample reason to think what we're seeing h ining here is connecte boston marathon bombing. number one, we know that the fbi was very interested in this part of massachusetts based on the initial information they had gathered and some of the tips they had received. this is not that coincidence. there was a great deal of interest beyond the mere fact that this suburb is near -- in the same state of massachusetts and not far from boston. so that's the first thing. secondly, we have seen and we're not reporting the names yet. but we have seen the names of the two people that we believe have been arrested there. one of them was a name that the fbi was very interested in tracing down based on a couple of factors, including the fact that the fbi had received a number of tips based on people looking at the pictures saying that one of the suspects looked very much like this person. so it was a name of great interest to the fbi. we believe that is the name of one of the two suspects. now, you might well ask, given the fact that the fbi doesn't know the names of the two suspects that they released the pictures of. you're looking at these two seeking information posters released a few hours ago by the fbi. you might well ask since they don't know their names, how would they know based on the arrests whether they have them or not. and i think that's one of the reasons why this is taking a long time. an unusual situation. because normally in a manhunt you know the name of the person you're looking for. this is not that situation. i'm told by law enforcement this picture that keeps coming up every 25 seconds is not one of the people involved in this incident here. just a person who was ordered to lie on the ground. another thing that is interesting. one of the things found by the responding officers was a pressure cooker. and, of course, we know that a pressure cooker was used to make at least one if not two of the bombs used in the boston bombing on monday. so you put all these things together, the fact that the fbi was interested in this area, based on the information they had developed. interested in checking out people in this area. number two, the fact that one of the names of the suspects that we believe have been arrested tonight was on the liz of people that the fbi was looking for based on their tips. and number three, the fact that a pressure cooker was found on the scene, looks to me like this was connected. >> and that's the question on everyone's mind all night. very good information you shared with us. i want to go lester holt with more on what's happening there on the ground. what can you tell us about what's happening right now? >> well, i can tell you more of what we don't know than we know. but they have set up this perimeter right here down from the scene where the explosions and sounds were heard earlier in the evening. witness accounts here of what people heard. but we haven't seen any sign of explosives here or smelled any gun powder. but watertown is about ten minutes or so from cambridge where that initial shooting of the police officer happened. this all broke during the 11:00 news, in fact, it was a bulletin on the local news here of this shooting at m.i.t. and then it slowly unfolded into multiple locations, police were staked out at a train station on the boston side. shortly after that we heard about the chase and the shootout and explosions here in watertown. residents are in the street right now trying to get a grip on what's happened. most people here have gone ahead and made the link that we've all been thinking about, whether this is related to the monday bombings. the only official word we got, i pulled a few blocks away from here and can't even call it a news conference, there was a state police officer that approached a few reporters. he seemed to be indicating that they had two suspects and there were two others they were still looking for. i haven't had double confirmation on that. just got the tail end of that. one s.w.a.t. officer was walking past the police line. asked him what was happening and he shook his head, i don't know. he was a boston police officer. the tempo has died down considerably here. we saw police cars flying back and forth. in fact, i was in boston when all of this was going down. and you could hear the crescendo of sirens following that shooting. the percentage of sirens keeps growing and growing and growing indicating something was happening of some magnitude. no one officially connecting the dots. but as pete has suggested, that i seem to be lining up in the direction this may be related to monday's bombing. >> if you have any concerns about your own safety, if law enforcement has indicated there are any continuing threats. we spoke to an eyewitness who says he can till see a bomb robot on the scene trying to ascertain if there are explosives in and rnd around the area, have you heard anything from law enforcement about continuing threats? >> no, they've got several routes in that direction. they've got several routes blocked off. and their posture seems to indicate, at least in the area we are that all is clear. and the other side of the tape down the road, i'm not sure that's the case. i can see as a last location, a long line of what appears to be s.w.a.t. officers walking up the street. that area a little bit more sensitivity. where we are right now, seems to be no great urgency beyond the excitement earlier in tevining. but we appear to be in a safe location right now. residents sharing what they know. some things will turn out to be wrong as we all kind of wait here and try to reduce the urge to speculate what we know. and truthfully, we don't know a lot. >> i want to reset the scene for our viewers that may be joining at this time on everything that's taken place this evening. a lot of development this evening. >>> this is an nbc news special report. >>> in new york, at least one person has been taken into custody after a night of violence in watertown, massachusetts, just outside of boston. witnesses report hearing at least three explosions and a massive exchange of gunfire between at least two suspects and a number of law enforcement officers. i want to go now to nbc news justice correspondent pete williams live in d.c. with new information on this. pete, what can you tell us? >> reporter: well, the obvious question is, is all of this violence tonight related to the bombings in boston and the fact that several hours ago, the fbi released pictures of individuals they were eager to talk to, they believed were involved in monday's bombing. several things to keep clear here, number one, we're told by authorities that what is unfolding tonight in boston did not start with the fbi trying to arrest someone. that is not what started this. but there are at least three reasons to think that what's happening here is related to the boston bombings. number one, we knew that the fbi was interested in the names of some people who live in this area. so it's not -- this is not an unrelated thing or something related to boston merely by geography. there was interest that the fbi had in that area. that's number one. number two, we've heard the names of two people who have been arrested tonight. we're not confirming them, but one of them we know was a name that the fbi had received several tips about. it was someone they were interested in. that seems to me more than a mere coincidence. and number three, we've been told that in all of the violence tonight in all the chaos in watertown that there were some explosives, some that were set up off. and among all that was a pressure cooker. you may recall that we know for certain because the fbi has said publicly that one at least one and possibly two of the bombs that were set off at the boston marathon on monday at least one of them was built using a pressure cooker. so i suppose you could say if you had one of those factors, this might merely be a coincidence, but when you lay all three of them down, the possibility of a coincidence seems to be quite remote and seems to law enforcement officials quite remote, as well. now, one other thing i think is a relevant question. in a normal manhunt, you know the name of the person you're looking for, the name of the suspect. well, the two people their pictures shown a few hours ago in a press conference who were said to be involved in the boston bomb gsz, that's what the fbi doesn't know about them. their names. knows their pictures but not their names. so a question arises. if they do make arrests, and apparently they have, how will they know if they've got the right guys? i think that's one of the reasons why it's taking time to get an answer here because there's a lot of checking that has to be done. there's the immediate thing of do they look like the people in the pictures? and then there'll be other information that will have to be checked on too. and we don't know whether in all of the bomb debris that was recovered from the scene on monday whether in the work that the fbi's been doing at the lab in quantico whether they found fingerprints on that material. unfortunately, careful bomb makers try not to leave fingerprints, but they can survive that blast. that's happened many times in the past. a fingerprint can survive a blast and many of the pieces were large enough to hold fingerprints. that could be another avenue. but that's the big question. and it certainly is looking like it is related and we're just waiting to find out now as, indeed, is the fbi whether they've got their guys. >> all right. nbc news justice correspondent in washington, thank you so much. addressing the issue on everyone's mind this evening. i want to bring in andrew kitzenberg. overlooking the street where those explosions and that shootout happened. andrew, can you describe for me what you saw this evening? >> yeah. i was sitting in my living room, actually, this room i'm in now and it was about 12:45, 12:50 when i heard a couple of gun shots, what sounded like gun shots and i walked over carefully and stud behind the walls ands and looked out my window. between a sedan and black mercedes benz suv. and there were two shooters with handguns that were taking cover behind the suv. they were shooting about what seemed to be 70 to 80 yards down towards watertown police officer vehicles. and the gunfire was going on for a few minutes and they also had explosives. what seemed to be maybe grenades and threw at least two of these explosives toward the officers. didn't look like anything. either of those got too close. but they also had a third explosive, which was a bigger explosive and what looked to be like a pressure cooker bomb. something that -- and i've seen the pictures earlier this week. and i actually saw them from my bedroom window on the third floor of our apartment, which is about 35, 40 feet down to the street. and i saw them light it and actually throw it towards the officers and didn't get too close. only 15 or 20 yards, but created a huge smoke explosion and a really big decoy in the street. as that explosion went off, one of the shooters ran towards the officers while still firing on them. and he continued to run at them and when he got close, he went down. i didn't see whether or not he was tackled or whether he was shot. i did see him go down and while he was doing this, the shooter got back into the suv, got into the suv, turned it down back down toward the officers. >> and andrew, i want to hop in and tell viewers what we're looking at. you've taken pictures all night and posted them on twitter. and we're looking at those twit picks now. can you describe to me what you took photos of and what they're showing? >> yeah, i took photos maybe -- a few minutes after i heard the gunfire, i went up to my bedroom and was taking initial pictures. i got a couple of the shooters actually firing on the officers. and i continue to take pictures, you know, for the last i think two hours now. and they range from there you see the bomb squad kind of inspecting our street and inspecting where that explosion actually went off. this is a sedan and in it are a couple of backpacks. and seemed that the shooters were carrying their ammunition and explosives and two or three backpacks -- >> and that's the vehicle they were taking cover behind, is that correct? >> well, the vehicle is actually gone in that picture. the suv is where they were standing behind and they were standing in between that sedan and the suv which was maybe 10 feet apart. >> has law enforcement said anything to you about your safety? you said the bomb squad was on the scene seeing if there was a potential ongoing zup set about staying safe right now? >> yeah. about an hour and a half or two hours ago, we had seemed like army personnel knock on our door, telling us to lock the doors and get to the back of the house. and so i think they've been going door to door to make sure everyone is staying inside and staying safe. >> and you posted that photo of the bomb detection robot about an hour ago. is there still a bomb squad on the scene looking for additional explosives? what's the scene like right now? >> yeah, i was just back at the window and about ten minutes ago, there still was. and this window actually leads out to the street. as i look right now, the bomb squad robot is actually in the passenger door right now in the driver seat door inspecting. >> andrew, would you be able to show us that? do you feel comfortable walking your computer to the window? >> yeah, i'd be happy to. i won't open the window, but i'll walk it here and -- is that it's kind of angled right now at the bomb squad robot. >> and we can see it looks like a robot that's looking through that car. one of the wars that -- and you're saying that this robot appears to be looking for more explosives inside that car. you said they left things behind. is that correct? >> yes, they left what looks like two or three backpacks and bags right next to that sedan. and the bomb squad and officers have yet to touch that. they have been very, very careful in this area. the bomb squad robot has been there for at least half hour now going door to door on the car doors inspecting it. and they have yet to look into the backpacks. >> okay. jonathan, i'd like for you to standby for just a moment. we want to go to wnbc investigator reporter jonathan dienst. what can you tell us about these developments to be the? >> i can echo much of what pete williams was reporting, our justice correspondent a short time ago. we spoke with a law enforcement source who tells us there's a stronger possibility that the events of this evening are linked to the marathon bombings that took place. he said there are, quote, visual and physical evidence suggesting it is linked and that it looks more likely. these are quotes. and -- but, but it is not definitive. and there's work to be done in terms of positively identifying the suspects who are in custody here tonight. one of them who we're told from a law enforcement source was shot during this wild shootout and chase that took place from about 10:45 this evening till about 2:30 in the morning. but that increasingly, the quote, stronger possibility that the incidents of tonight are linked to the bombing. again, this all started with the shooting of an m.i.t. security, m.i.t. police officer shot and killed. and then the ensuing chase by local police. the initial reports from federal officials were they did not believe it was linked but they were monitoring. and then as the events unfolded with shootouts and reports of explosives and car chases and now we are told all of the federal agents who are up in boston are being dispatched to go to the multiple crime scenes all across that area that took place tonight. because there is, quote, visual and physical evidence that suggests that the case tonight is linked to the marathon bombings. so confidence or close to confidence from law enforcement that these incidents are linked and they may have their suspects. but again, nothing is official. it is still undetermined, but that is what the fbi and local law enforcement are looking at at this hour. the stronger possibility, that's the direct quote, the two cases are linked. >> i would like to point out we've been showing video of a gentleman laying on the ground and earlier this evening, pete williams noted that law enforcement is telling him that gentleman, is not, in fact, one of the suspects in the case. someone at the wrong place at the wrong time. you mentioned the shooting in cambridge at the campus of m.i.t. and campus police officer was responding to reports of a disturbance when he was shot. he was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead and officials began an investigation in this case that was the first incidence of violence this evening and led to a number of situations across the area. i want to go to lester holt who is live in watertown, massachusetts, which is about 4 1/2 miles from cambridge where all of this started. what can you tell us about what's happening on the ground right now? >> well, they have moved the press and citizens back. they've cordoned off what appears to be a few square miles of this area while they work that scene that we've been watching in those skype photos. the s.w.a.t. teams, we were in another location about five minutes from here, a bit closer earlier. there were s.w.a.t. teams that were working slowly up and down the street that i could see in the distance. lots of police activity over there. we have moved back to a place now that they have deemed safe. the posture of police here a little less tense. clearly a lot of activity on the other end. one s.w.a.t. team officer coming out of the area seemed bewild bewilder bewildered. he was a boston police officer. he said, i just don't know. a state police officer at the scene suggested there were two people they had and might be looking for others. that was at the tail end of not quite a news conference that was being held but this officer sharing a little bit of information. haven't been able to confirm that beyond that. but there is still a great deal of activity back at the scene where those explosions were heard and the gunfire a bit earlier, police racing from all over this area including boston, which is about 15 minutes from watertown. right now residents milling about the streets. sharing information people trying to fill in the blanks, wondering if this is the culmination. wondering if there are others still at large from tonight's violence. and that has left a lot of people here on edge. where we are right now, police seem to have deemed this area safe. but we're all wondering where this is all going to lead. and in fact, if it is over, mara. >> all right, lester holt live in watertown. i would like to bring back now andrew kitzenberg. andrew, there's some new video that we're just getting in that i would like to share with you. we'll bring andrew back in just a moment. i'm hearing we do have andrew now back with us on skype. bear with us with some of our technical issues. andrew, if you are there with us and can hear me, we have new video in of this incident taking place earlier this evening and i'd like to take a listen and watch it with you and discuss it on the other side. this is youtube video of this fire fight earlier this evening in watertown. it is very dark, but you should be able to hear the fire fight between police officers and those two suspects. let's take a listen. >> there's explosions and gunfire going on down the street. >> my house. >> unbelievable video there. it was about a minute of gunfire exchange between those two suspects and law enforcement in watertown. andrew, it seems like that must have been terrifying and all of this was unfolding right outside your window. what was that moment like? >> it was absolutely terrifying. we heard the gunfire and heard a couple of gun shots. i'm here with three of my roommates and we were all -- a couple of them were already sleeping. the gunfire started at about 12:45. and it was absolutely terrifying. and then we heard the gunfire and exactly what the video showed. a lot of gunfire being exchanged, but then there were explosives a couple of minutes later. and i witnessed that from my bedroom window. and it looked like they were potentially grenades or explosives of that type. and that's when it brought it to a whole other level and we could actually feel it. i could feel it here in the house. and it is really, really terrifying. >> and of course, that whole area has been on edge since monday's bombings at the boston marathon. is that something you thought of that perhaps it could be related? >> well, prior to this, maybe an hour, hour and a half prior i saw on the news, i saw the push notifications on my phone about a shooting at m.i.t. that was the initial thought when i heard the gunfire. m.i.t. is about 20 -- about 20-minute drive from my apartment. and that's what i initially thought. are you thinking about marathon, but i was thinking about m.i.t. since it was so recent. >> and when you saw they had explosives, did that bring to mind everything that happened earlier this week? >> yes, absolutely. that -- i can't even describe when the first explosives were going off. but then from my bedroom window when i was looking down at the shooters, i could actually see what looked like a pressure cooker bomb similar to the ones i've seen on the internet and pictures for the last few days. and i actually saw the shooter light it and turn it towards the officers. and that explosion filled our entire street with smoke and that was -- at that point, i hit the ground. i was terrified. >> can you tell me a little bit more about the force of those explosions. did they appear to do any damage or injure any of the law enforcement officers there? >> i couldn't see the officers, they were at the end of our block, which was maybe 80 or 100 yards away. but the windows in the -- there was actually a watertown police vehicle that crashed into our driveway. and the windows were all what seemed to be shot out. they could have been exploded from that bomb. i know there are cars in my driveway right now that have broken windows, whether those are bullet holes or from the explosion, i can't tell. but the force, it wouldn't surprise me that the force was great enough where -- and i don't know if there was shrapnel, but it was great enough that it was hitting our house. >> and we want to be careful not to jump to conclusions, but there certainly is a good deal of evidence at this point to suggest that what happened this evening is in fact, related to the bombings that took place on monday. yesterday, authorities released these photos of the suspects in the bombing case. from your vantage point, did you see any similarities between the people having a firefighter with police and the photos police released yesterday? >> you know, i couldn't make out the shooters. i couldn't identify their faces. based on build, they were average sized, average height. but i really continue make out any facial features. they didn't have very descriptive clothing and it was relatively dark. and i don't want to speculate on that. >> i'd like you to standby for a moment because i want to bring in kerry sanders who is live on the phone now. he is also in watertown. and you've been covering this story all night from the very beg beginning. how did all of this start? >> i'm around the corner from andrew, what he saw from his position. he can't see what i can see because of where he is. i'm sort of like half a block around the corner from him. but there's 35 police officers that have saved themselves in an area here. looks like they were getting ready to make walk the streets to look for something but then they broke up. some of the vehicles are pulling out of here. and in those vehicles, unmarked vehicles are federal military s.w.a.t. team. and using that description sort of vaguely because they won't identify themselves. but the way they're dressed, the gear they're wearing including night vision gear and they're dressed in military garb, they may be a state agency, but it says v-14 on their soldiers, they have american flag patches and packed to the hilt with every armament you would need to move through here. they have pulled back. two per vehicle, six vehicles pulling out of here. leaving behind a large number of boston police officers who were here. they had when i walked up decided that perhaps put up yellow crime scene tape. they've stopped me from pursuing any further up into this area. one of the people in this area who was out told me to check earlier tonight they saw 20 officers running up here in a full sprint with their ar-15s out, a type of weapon. i'm not sure, but i have a feeling this may be where much of the exchange of gunfire took place. the only thing that is not enough to confirm that to me is i was thought by now if this was it, they would have put out some markers where some of the casings from the bullets would've fallen down. and i don't see any of that. but clearly the officers are lined up as if they're going to do something here. i've been to crime scenes before. where often they're in a line like that to look for items. >> can you describe the scene when you arrived there and what the law enforcement response was like? >> reporter: oh, it was intense. it was -- it was officers at the ready. in some cases running, in other cases, with their backs to the action looking the other direction, which is because i think they weren't sure which direction the potential threat may still be coming from. coming in right now, we have another military-style vehicle coming in. and let me see if i can find out who these guys are and see if they're willing to tell me. boston pd? okay, boston pd is coming in here. armored personnel carrier coming on down into the scene. but, again, not moving in with any urgency. just moving into position. >> okay. kerry, if you can just -- if i can ask you to standby for me for one moment. i want to take a moment to read a statement we got from the fbi earlier this evening. got this about 3:00 a.m., less than an hour ago. they're saying we are aware of the law enforcement activity in the greater boston area. the situation is ongoing. we are working with local authorities to determine what happened. and i'd like to bring in jonathan dienst. do you have new information to share? >> well, we can update that statement from officials who are telling us, again, there's a strong possibility that the incidents here tonight are linked to the marathon bombing case but that nothing is definitive. and the reason why there is that belief is because of visual and physical evidence at the scene involving a suspect or suspects as well as some of the items recovered at the scene. and we're waiting for details about that from the eyewitness you've been speaking with about him seeing a pressure cooker bomb. one of the chances, you know, that type of device would be, you know, not somehow connected to what went on with the marathon. but, again, nothing definitive as the fbi, we are told is dispatching dozens and dozens and dozens of agents now to join with the local authorities because, again, this started out as a shooting of a police officer. what amounted to a local crime, a very tragic crime story out there. and then led to this wild chase shooting and explosions that clearly indicated this was even bigger and much more troubling given the terror events that took place on monday. that's why you have this enormous response with police and armored personnel carriers. and now, the federal agents who are out at the scene. but as justice department correspondent pete williams was explaining that he was hearing that federal officials believe that this could very well be linked and that we're hearing, as well, that it looks more likely, stronger possibility. there's visual and physical evidence that suggests they're linked. these are some of the quotes we're hearing from officials up in that area. but, again, nothing is definitive. and until they can make positive i.d.s on the suspect or suspects that they have, they're going to take their time in putting out any sort of official announcement establishing a connection and an official announcement identifying the names of those who they have. and matching them, perhaps or d disproving them to the photos they put out yesterday at that press conference. because, again, as pete was explaining, they did not have a name. all they had were the video images. so there is much work ahead to see if they can match the people involved in this incident tonight conclusively with the images they have from the marathon bombing. and that work is ahead. so i suspect it will take some time. but there were some names being bandied about among law enforcement as to who they think these two individuals involved tonight are and the question, again, whether for sure they're connected to the boston marathon bombing. so, again, it is undetermined, it is not official, but words like -- or phrases like stronger possibility looks more likely of the connection. that is what we are hearing. >> and jonathan, conflicting reports tonight about how many people are in custody quickly. do you know how many people taken in custody and if there are suspects at large? >> i do not know that for sure. i believe there is at least one subject in custody and that suspect was shot and injured during his confrontation with police. i've heard other reports they do have the second suspect and we're working to nail that down at this hour. >> okay. i'd like to turn to nbc news justice correspondent pete williams who joins us from washington. you heard what jonathan had to say, quote, a strong possibility that these events that took place tonight are, in fact, linked to the boston bombings. what can you tell us about that potential link? >> well, i want to start with something you just asked my good friend john about which is there some reason to think there's somebody at large? and the answer to that is quite clearly yes. because the watertown police, the massachusetts state police have put out a tweet saying that residents in and around watertown should stay home and not answer the door. unless it's an identified police officer. so that's a pretty strong indication, i think, that they're trying to find someone and they don't want that person stakie i taking refuge in someone else's house. the big question, of course, on everyone's mind is as of you been discussing with john, could this be related to the boston bombing on monday? this all started tonight with what seemed like a fairly routine police response to a fairly normal course of the evening call. and so we have to start right there and say that this did not start with the fbi trying to arrest someone in the boston bombing. they were not aggressively out trying to serve a warrant or trying to arrest someone. however, the events that unfold strongly suggest that whoever the fbi was looking for has somehow brought this all on their own heads. and there are several reasons why there's a strong suspicion as john's comments reflect that this is related to boston. thing number one is that the fbi was already interested in people in this area. so it's not just the mere fact that watertown's near boston. number two, you've heard the witness say and we've heard independently from law enforcement that among the things they believe they've found tonight in all this chaos and some explosives being deployed apparently was a pressure cooker. and that's important because one of the two devices on monday was made with the pressure cooker. and number three, we have seen the names and can't -- trying to confirm them now. we've seen the name from some law enforcement officials of one or possibly two people in custody. one of those names was on the fbi's list of people to check out based on the tips they released their pictures at 6:00 last night. so you put all that together and it seems quite likely and i believe, you know, what the people i'm talking to reflect the same view that john's sources do that this -- you know, this has got to be -- they've got to have -- gotten into these guys and they're, you know, they're about to find out whether, in fact, the people they have are the people they were looking for. now just to state the obvious, that's going to be complicated because the fbi doesn't have the names of the bombers on monday in boston. that is why they put the pictures out on thursday to get names. they can't look in their wallets and find out if they're the right guys and i think that's one of the reasons why this is taking longer. plus, whatever is going on up there isn't over yet. >> and do we have any idea whether what happened in watertown is related to what happened in cambridge earlier this evening with the shooting of an m.i.t. police officer. it's unclear if these events are related to each other if they are, in fact, at all. >> i don't think anyone i've talked to down here has a clue about that. >> thanks so much for that. and i'd like to bring our viewers up to speed on what has happened this evening. a number of developments in the boston area. began around 10:45 yesterday evening in cambridge, massachusetts, just outside of boston when an m.i.t. campus police officer was responding to a disturbance and was shot multiple times. he was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. at that time, officials said they began an investigation. a few hours later, some activity began in watertown, massachusetts, 4 1/2 miles outside of cambridge away from cambridge and officials say there was a fire fight between two suspects and a number of law enforcement officers. we played a tape a short while ago, a home video of what appeared to be that fire fight. witnesses also reported hearing a number of explosions. we spoke to one eyewitness who said he saw the two suspects tossing what seemed hand grenades and at one point even what appeared to be a pressure cooker bomb at law enforcement officials. now, at this time, we can confirm that one person has been taken into custody. we don't know if there's a second person who has taken into custody. but it appears one person is in custody. the question that everyone is asking is whether or not what happened tonight is related to the bombings earlier this week at the boston marathon. we cannot say for certainty if there is a connection. but as we've heard from several of our reporters this evening, including justice correspondent pete williams and jonathan dienst, there's a strong possibility these events are, in fact, linked. i would like to bring in former fbi profiler clint van zandt. and clint, we've been following this together all night. given what you've heard about these individuals have been explosives, the way they engage law enforcement in the extensive fire fight, go you have suspicions these are, in fact, the suspects that police have been looking for in this boston bombing case? >> well, this could be, i think, one or more of the suspects. what we have to realize too is we have pictures of the two primary suspects. there may be other individuals involved, at least providing some type of aid and comfort to these two individuals. so whether the person they have in custody is an exact match to these photographs or not, law enforcement right now is trying to sort through this. as you probably know, pictures very released by the fbi showing the two primary suspects together, it would be a relatively simple task with the person they supposedly have in custody to get facial photographs with an iphone and send those to investigators who have good copies of the pictures if investigators of the street don't have them with them to make that match. i would say they have a pretty good idea right now even though as pete rightfully says we don't have the names, we have something better at this point. we have pictures of their face. and we should be able to match that up. the challenge right now as you've indicated. is this related, of course. and more importantly at this point, one way or the other, there's the potential based upon police telling citizens to stay inside and not answer the door that there is a second shooter on the street. the second shooter whether he was involved in the shooting of the m.i.t. police officer, whether he was involved in the fire fight, the subsequent fire fight with police officers, whether he was involved in the bombing, he has nonetheless engaged police officers in a fire fight. and that makes him a highly dangerous person. and with the introduction of explosives, i can tell you 25 years ton the street as an fbi agent. and the idea that you would encounter an individual with devices similar to hand grenades or pressure cooker bombs, that changes the odds so greatly that it almost has to be related to this -- to the marathon bombings if, in fact, the information coming to us is accurate as reported. >> clint, i would like you to standby for a moment. we'd love to come back to you in a moment. at this time, i want to go to lester holt live in watertown, massachusetts. lester? >> as we continue to try to connect the dots if they are, in fact, connectible, whatever the sequence of events, we know that police kicked over a hornet's nest here in the early morning hours in watertown. that fire fight we saw that prolonged fire fight, exchange of gunfire, explosives apparently being tossed in the direction of police. it's probably the fbi here, many police agencies, boston police, a number of units leaving the area over the last few minutes. we've been moved back into an area that apparently is safe. i've lost my sound to you, i was going to continue to talk, but cut me off if you have to. this all followed the series of events that began late evening in cambridge. reports of a disturbance, police officers responding, there were reports of shots and then we learned, in fact, an m.i.t. police officer had been shot multiple times and died from his wounds. we then saw police activity at a transit station across the river and then an apparent chase that ended here in watertown. it was in watertown that police were met by this hail of gunfire. they returned fire. a rapid, rapid prolonged exchange, explosions were heard and according to a witness who has been speaking to nbc news throughout the night who had a clear view of all of this, one of the suspects go the in a vehicle and basically blasted his way through the police lines. we were a little closer to the scene about an hour or so ago. we could see s.w.a.t. teams moving methodically up the street. obviously trying to get a handle on the area. look for unexploded ordinance right now as witnesses have been describing to us. there's been a robot that they have been using to check out a vehicle and still apparently objects on the ground to check out. >> thanks for that report. i want to go to kerry sanders who joins us on the phone. he's also in watertown. kerry, i hear you have new information for us. >> reporter: indeed. 30 blocks from where lester is and s.w.a.t. teams have been deployed. two s.w.a.t. teams over to a building not far from where i'm standing. motion detectors have gone off inside the pilding. and it's multiple motion detectors it triggered. causing them to believe the current suspect they are pursuing may be inside that building. at the same time, where i'm standing, i've been pushed back because sources have confirmed to me over here they have what they believe are two devices in the street. they didn't bring a bomb squad in yet. but they have brought in armored personnel carriers. they could be active bombs. >> and, kerry, if you could just reiterate that. i mean, if what you're hearing bears out, this probably one of the biggest developments of the night. just to be clear, you're hearing from law enforcement that it's possible that the suspect may still, in fact, be in the vicinity and they may have pinpointed his location, is that correct? >> exactly. and be very specific here. multiple motion detectors have gone off in a building and they have deployed two s.w.a.t. teams to that location right now where they believe it's highly possible someone who doesn't belong inside that building, consider the hour may be their suspect. at the same time over where i am, there are two devices they're creating with their bombs. two devices they have in the street here. they have pushed back from and they're waiting for the bomb squad to arrive. but in the meantime, they brought in some of their armored personnel carrier, which we can assume put up the blast shield too if something were to trigger, it could stop the explosion from hitting nails and ball bearings out to areas that cause damage. >> give us perspective where you are. is this the same street where the fire fight took place? >> this is close to where the fire fight took place. about half a block to a good portion of this fire fight took place. i'm hesitant to give the exact street locations. it's taken kind relations with police officers to get where nobody else is. >> kerry sanders, please be careful, especially if they've identified devices in the street near where you are. we've just wanted to recap where we are at this point. we heard a very significant potential development from nbc news' kerry sanders. there may be a chance, we cannot confirm this, but may be a chance that one of the suspects they are looking for is, in fact, in a building in watertown and they have identified his location. again, we're going to wait and hear more on that. this all stems from a number of events that took place last night. witnesses report explosions and extensive fire fight between two suspects. there's a strong possibility this is, in fact, related to the
MSNBC
Apr 17, 2013 8:00am PDT
express my sadness and my anger frankly over those terrible events. the you know, boston is is not going to be intimidated by this. but we're going to find out who did this. >> that emotional secretary of state john kerry this morning talking about the terror attacks in boston. i'm craig melvin filling in for thomas roberts. new pictures, new information about the bombs used in a deadly attack at the boston p marathon. all of this as president obama gets ready to comfort the victims in that city tomorrow. these are new images in to us from reuters appearing to show a circuit board, timers and other parts of the devices as well. authorities believe each bomb may have weigh ed about 20 pounds. they were packed with nails and ball bearings as well. the fbi says it's found the mangled remains of what appears to be a pressure cooker in a black nylon back that possibly held the bombs. the fbi is also examining photos like this one where you can see what looks like a trash bag next to a mailbox. that same shot just moments after shows a devastating scene. invest garretigators are lookin whether the devices were put in trash bags to hide them. meantime, they continue to ask the public for help in the form of pictures, videos and tips. >> the person who did this is someone's friend, neighbor, co-worker or relative. someone knows who did this. >> former mayor rudy giuliani in office during the 9/11 attacks weighed in on "morning joe," saying people need to give investigators more time to come up with answers. >> i think that impatience with the investigation is a little misplaced. i was in london the day of the bombing and back in 2005, it took a while to catch those people and they have maybe three times the surveillance cameras that we have. >> also today, mourning the victims. vigils and new details emerging about those killeded in the bombing and others still fighting for their lives. >> initially, we had 10 or 11 that we considered critical. now, we have two. they are still critically ill and most patients are making good progress. we'll not be happy until they're home. will not be satisfied. >> we have all angles covered today from the new details on the bombs themselves to the investigation to the rallying across this country. for boston. but we start with msnbc national investigative correspondent, michael isakoff, who is live in boston. michael, we have some video from invest garretts gators from moments ago. what are they doing now and what are we learning as well as from photos of those pressure cooker bombs? >> first of all, the search for evidence is intensifying just a few moments ago. agents with white hazmat suits and bomb sniffing dogs were sifting through the area near the bomb blasts on boylston street just a couple of blocks from where we are right now. that's a sign of just how exhaustive they're going to be in trying to collect any scrap of evidence they can get and also, the heightened security situation here, i should point out that just a few hours ago, we had those same bomb sniffing dogs going through our cameras here at nbc where we've got set up. so there is very much, the heightened security here is very acute and that does contradict a bit with a comments by law enforcement to sort of calm the public saying there's no imminent threat because the fact is, there is a bomber or bombers on the loose. those photos you mentioned before, we are getting these new photos in. they show the circuit board. they show most interestingly, elements of that pressure cooker, which you can see part of a corporate logo on that and the black nylon bag which also seems to show a corporate logo on it. now, what's significant about that is that it gives investigators a lead. they can now go to stores that sell these particular items, the pressure cookers, the nylon bags and ask have, who's been buying these items recently? do they have a list? is there surveillance cameras at some of these stores? now, that's going to be tough. it could take a long time. i'm told pressure cookers like this could also be sold at yard sales. so it may be a dead end in that respect, but it gives them something to work on in the absence of other leads. >> michael isakoff with the latest on the investigation from boston. thanks. i want to bripg in candice delong, a former profiler who helped with the unibomber and james cavanaugh. good to have you. candice, let me start with you. from all the reports about the content of the bomb, there's new pictures we just saw a few moments ago. pictures of a battery pack, pictures of a circuit board, bbs nails into that pressure cooker. in your experience, what can these things tell us? >> what they can tell us is the experience level of the bomber. have they done this kind of thing before? do they have military training or did they get this out of the anarchists cookbook if you will, or something off the internet. it doesn't look like the damage regarding this is insignificant. it didn't look to me like it's a highly sophisticated bombmaker. >> would that be an indication this might be the work of someone who's not necessarily an expert? >> it could mean it is the work of someone who's not necessarily an expert or more than one person. >> what might the fact that no one or no group at this point has claimed responsibility, what might that tell us about the suspect or suspects? >> i don't think it's inconsequential that well, our most famous terrorist group, al-qaeda, has not claimed credit for this. they usually want credit for what they did. i think one of the things i've been thinking since monday certainly tuesday when there was no credit for it at that point was that this was probably not what we would call state sponsored terrorism and that it might be a home grown individual not to say that they aren't political extremists or i mean, al-qaeda has released their, they'll give their information to anybody and go forth. if you share our views, do what you want to do. we don't know if al-qaeda's behind this or not. it doesn't like to me like it's an organized, sophisticated bombing effort. >> james, there's something else that's complicating all of this. take a listen. >> there are descriptions for how to make this kind of bomb on many websites in every major language and an ordinary search engine will take you to them. >> with so many people capable of making one of these simple bombs, how will investigators sift through the suspect sns. >> well, what they're going to have to do is develop suspects from the community, from who might have purchased like item, forensics, from the bomb, there could be fingerprint, dna. there could be tips come in and preincident behavior, testing bombs. there's lot of ways, names of people and suspects will come up to the command post and investigators and candice made some great points and i agree with the way she's thinking about it. the bomber or bombers are very determined, very purposeful. they have it electrically fused, im improvised mind, place to create maximum death in a device that can be carried. maybe their resources are vast, so they don't have a lot of money. why didn't they put it in a car full of explosives? well, they don't have the money for that. and also, they have a manned portable device. so this device is carried in. one person could have carried in two bombs. they could have one in the duffel bag and one in the backpack. mike isakoff was talking about the scene there. where the case starts, the epicenter of the case is the seed of the blast. and the seed of the blast is where the agents go to start. and the case works out from there really in this case, right across the world. and you've got two blast seats, they've zeroed in on them. if that garbage bag is one of the bombs that's been in the photographs, it was placed over the fence or don't rule out that someone was on the other side of the fence. it could have been you know, looked like a street sweeper. could have one of those yellow marathon vests around been a volchenkvo vollen tier. the other device, possibly behind the fence, which was like a dune fence, maybe to keep bystanders from touching it. you'll notice in the pictures, it's about ten feet in from the curb. there's a diabolical nature. >> thanks to both of you. do appreciate your time. >> welcome. >> in the midst of the death and destruction, boston continues to rally around the victims as well. at least three vigils were held yesterday. one in dorchester to honor 8-year-old martin richard, one of the boston common and another at an interfaith service across the street from the common. join i joining me now, congressman of massachusetts. a woman drove two of her sons, each lost a leg in the bombing. what can you tell us about how that family is doing? >> i can't tell you an awful lot. i understand that the mother an one of the sons lives in the district in wakefield and the other son lives just outside. we trieded to reach her and offer any support, but there was no voice mail, no answer on that, so we've checked with town officials who i know are very concerned and they're going to try to keep an eye out to make sure whatever support the family needs is there and they know that everybody is concerned for them. >> you're the ranking trat on the subcommittee, homeland security secretary napolitano spoke. >> there is no current indication to suggest the attack was indicative of a broader plot, but out of an abundance of caution, we continue to keep in place enhanced security measures, both seen and unseen in coordination with federal, state and local partners. we continued to urge the american public to remain vigilant and immediately report signs of suspicious activity. >> what kind of briefings on the investigation are you being given if any? >> secretary's been very good. she's called personally to the different members of the delegation and shared with us all the information she has to date and obviously, we have an open channel there with her staff anytime we need to know more. the white house has been good. they've been making sure that people are informed and we feel comfortable we'll get the information we need to have. we don't want to interfere and be a burden on the process of this invest gag, so we're trying to strike that delicate balance, showing support and concern for families involved. being able to act where we need to act on anything, but also not be in the way of the secretary or anybody else's involvement of this investigation. >> congressman, thank you for your time. >> thank you. >> how is it senator, that americans do not do this, that bostonians, new yorkers, we do not do this. we get up, we walk ahead, on ward throughout the day. how is it that we are less afraid of terrorism in our streets than you are of the nra? >> msnbc contributor, mike barnacle after learning the vote on that bipartisan deal on background checks is all but doomeded. kelly o'donnell gets the scoop from joe manchin, plus, mark sanford will be heading to court for possibly violating his divorce settlement. reports on what his ex-wife says he's done now. access control, fire and intrusion protection. all backed up with world-class monitoring centers, thousands of qualified technicians, and a personal passion to help protect your business. when your business is optimized like that, there's no stopping you. we are tyco integrated security. and we are sharper. exciting and would always come max and pto my rescue. bookstore but as time passed, i started to notice max just wasn't himself. and i knew he'd feel better if he lost a little weight. so i switched to purina cat chow healthy weight formula. i just fed the recommended amount... and they both loved the taste. after a few months max's "special powers" returned... and i got my hero back. purina cat chow healthy weight. >>> we have over 90% of the senate democrats that will vote affirmative. if we just had 20% of our republican colleagues, that's not a heavy ask, not a heavy lift. only 20%. that's nine members, nine member, this thing would be home and we'll see. >> senator joe manchin on "morning joe" today saying he's hopeful, but told kelly o'donnell, quote, we will not get the votes when the senate convenes today to take up the bipartisan gun control bill he crafted with pat toomey. all despite a push from newtown families and a number polls showing overwhelming support for expanding background checks in this country with the senate poised to vote this afternoon, plus the nra is out with a new internet ad. >> president obama and mayor bloomberg are pushing gun control, but america's police say they're wrong. 71% of police say obama's gun ban will have zero effect on violent crime. 80% of police say more background checks will have no effect. 91% say the right answer is swift prosecution and mandatory sentencing. tell your senator to listen to america's police instead of listening to obama. >> joining me now, the woman who broke this story, kelly o'donnell and kelly, i understand you've got more breaking news on this as well. >> craig, there is so much happening here, i've got a couple of things i want to tell you, first, on guns, we were first to report that kelly ayotte, republican of new hampshire, will be making it very difficult for those who are supporting manchin toomey to get that passed, but just seconds ago, we had a loud speaker announcement here at the russell senate office building where police say there is a suspicious package near the office of richard shelby and therefore, they are trying to clear the area. everyone here is on high alert because of what's happened in boston and because of what's happened with a ricin letter, a suspicious letter sent to roger wicker, republican of mississippi. off site, they detected as a mail facility, a letter that contained a white granular s substance that in an initial test proved to be ricin. work on that continues. where i'm standing now, if you can hear overhead, there's sort of a muffle ed sound of police announcing they are clearing the area around richard shelby's office because of a suspicious package. now, that is a function of the world we live in now. there are often circumstances where bags are left and a place considered such a hey value target like the u.s. capitol, there are measures frequently taken. i don't want to be alarmist, i'm just telling you what's happening right now. they have not received alerts updating them on the ricin situation. they were told last night to alert offices in the capitol and in their home states about that and all mail to the u.s. senate has been put on hold while that investigation continues. we have enormous topics unfolding sim ul tan yously here with the expectation that the guns bill on manchin toomey, the expanded background checks, the votes are not there. that is expected to fail. between now and 4:00 p.m., if minds are change echanged, it c changed and we're seeing realtime effects with boston, with the letter and the height bed state we all live in. we'll keep you posted if there are further developments. again, suspicious package here. no immediate concern. i don't believe we're being evacuated. >> thank you so much. again, kelly o'donnell from capitol hill on a suspicious package there, part of the senate being evacuated. as you were speaking, we've gotten confirmation that a letter addressed to the president contained a suspicious substan substance. kristen welker standing by with more on the suspicious letter sent to the president. what can you tell us about this? >> i'm just getting information from the secret service. the letter was received on the 16th. it was addressed to the president containing a suspicious substance received at the remote white house screening mail facility. now, this facility ree teenly identifies letters or parcels that require secondary screening or scientific testing before they're delivered. the secret service white house mail screening facility is remote. it's not located near the white house. and the secret service the working in concert with the fbi and dhs to get to the bottom of this. obviously, a very tense time here in the wake of the bombings in boston. and then that letter that was intercepted to the senator that we learned about, so again, right now, the secret service fbi and dhs investigating a letter addressed to president obama that did contain a substan substance, so that is the latest here from the white house. the briefing by jay kacarney is expected to start within the half hour, so he will undoubtedly get a number of questions about this. president obama scheduled to travel to boston tomorrow, but obviously, people here in d.c. on heightened alert. they have been ever since that bombing on tuesday and this just adding to this concern. >> kristen welker from the white house, jonathan dienst is sta standing by for us as well here in the studio. jonathan, what, if anything, can you add to this? what more with k you tell us about this suspicious letter mailed to the president or the suspicious letter that was also sent to senator richard shelby? >> we are hearing from the secret service that this letter addressed to the president was recovered at that remote screening facility. we started hearing rumblings last night that a letter had been sent to the white house and that the secret service was involved in an investigation and a spokesman did confirm for us this morning that a letter addressed to the president was recovered at that site. it is being tested. they're looking into whether it is connected to the same letters sent to capitol hill. we are hearing from a law enforcement source there's a sektd suspicious letter to senator wicker that they're also taking a look at, but that letter has not been tested yet. >> this would be a second letter on top of the first one, correct? >> that is what we are being told, so that two letters to that senator wicker and one to the white house is what we are hearing and that the one all of them were intercepted at off site locations. after the letters in 2001 and the secret service says they are working closely with the capitol police and fbi in kconnection with the letter addressed to the white house. this letter as opposed to the many other hoax letters and pea materials that get sent through that center certainly raising the attention of secret service and causing this investigation that they are taking this one very seriously. certainly in connection with what happened with the letters to the capitol as well. >> we should note for our viewers at home that none of these letters have tested positive for ricin. nor have officials or authorities connected these letters and or packages. i want to bring in kristen welker again. i believe i heard you saw we are expected to hear from president obama in roughly 30 or 45 minutes? >> no, we're going to hear from jay carney. he is going to be delivering his daily briefing. president obama has spoken to the nation these past two days. at this point in time, we are not education pecexpecting that but these events are fluid. the president will be traveling to boston tomorrow to speak with the victims there, the community of boston, but as of right now, what we are expecting the daily press briefing from white house press secretary, jay carney, who will undoubtedly field a number of questions about this letter that was sent to president obama and intercepted and apparently now according to the secret service, has a suspicious substance and again, the secret service working in concert with the fbi, dhs and other officials to get to the bottom of exactly who is behind sending these letters out. >> kristen welker from the white house, jonathan dienst here in the studio for us, we are going to take a quick break. a number of fluid, breaking stories here at msnbc. 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[ phillips' lady ] live the regular life. phillips'. >>> back now with more breaking news we've been following. a number of suspicious letters, the most recent sent to president obama. kristen welker standing by at the white house with more. let's reset for our viewers at home. what do we know about this point about the letter received at this off site mail facility? >> well, craig, it was received on the 16th. addressed to president obama and seems to contain a suspicious substance according to officials with the secret service. important to highlight the fact it was intercepted at an off site facility. i am being told it is not uncommon for letters to undergo tests when they are received at this facility, so this is a part of the process, this letter is thought to contain a suspicious substance, so right now, obviously, heightened concern surrounding that. now, white house press secretary, jay carney, is expected to hold his daily briefing in just about 15 or 20 minutes from now, so he will undoubtedly get a number of questions about this letter and of course, the suspicious let es sent to senator wicker. i can tell you that ever since the bombings in boston, craig, pennsylvania avenue has been closed off to foot traffic out of an abundance of caution, really, that is what the secret service had said to us, to clearly, washington, d.c. right now under a heightened alert in the wake of the bombings in boston. we know that president obama will travel to boston tomorrow. he will speak with the victims, their family members, to that community and he has been updated regularly on the situation on the investigation, but again, there is no at this point, knowledge about whether or not these letters have any connection to what happened in boston, but obviously, this community on heightened alert as are major cities. >> as you were speaking, we were able to confirm from a federal law enforcement official that the letter addressed to president obama and the letter addressed to senator wicker are being described as quote very similar to each other. i want to bring in pete williams, who's also standing by for us in washington, d.c. and pete, i understand that there was an initial positive test, but there's really no way to know whether it's really ricin until additional testing is done. >> ever since the anthrax mailings, no mail has gone directly to the white house, capitol hill and many other government offices. it's all sent to off site facilities to test it for various things. both facilities gave an initial positive for a poison called ricin. there were subsequent tests, they were conflicting. but you can't really know for sure what it is until it's sent to a lab and cultured and then you look under a mike scope to see what it is. now, we have seen events in the past, craig, ice ricin is made tr castor beans and someone will just take dried beans and grind them up and put them in a letter. now, that will test positive for ricin even though there's no ricin there. i guess it would be like the difference between poppies and opium. they're related, but it's not the same thing. so you won't know whether it's ricin until later today i'm told is the earliest the test results would come in. that's thing one. thing two is that federal inv investigators believe they know who sent these letters. they say it's someone who has sent threatening letters to government officials before. there's no reason to think it's connected to what happened in boston. >> pete williams with some additional breaking news there. federal officials seem to have a good idea. do stand by. i want to bring jonathan dienst back in. a number of your sources in the nation's capitol, what are your hearing? >> this is precautionary. no final tests in. the statement they told us earlier today, a letter addressed to the president was received at a remote screening facility containing a suspicious substance. we are working closely with capitol police. the letters are similar to the one sent to the capitol, so therefore, you have two letters, probably sent by the same snrt that is now being investigated if any dangerous substance is included inside these mailings. again, they were off site locations. no 100% confirmation. but official field testing is what raised the concern. again, the secret service taking this one very seriously given what happened on the capitol yesterday. >> pete, are you still there? is pete still there? we don't have pete. jonathan, i'll pose the question to you for folks who may not be -- oh, pete is this. how customary is this, pete? i think we heard kristen welker, quite frankly, there are a number of suspicious packages received at these facilities. >> there are and the field tests almost always are wrong, so we have to wait and see. i remember one incident where there was enormous concern about a letter possibly containing anthrax and it turned out to be paper dust. so we have to sort of, all the systems are working right here. they're obviously set for a very low threshold to indicate something positive, so they're waiting to see. think about all the containment here. none of these got to the recipients. they think they know who the sender is. they were stopped. they're testing them now. ricin is very different from anthrax. you can get symptoms if you just touch it. if it's in the air. ricin, you have to ingest. so, it's a completely different kind of thing. it's threatening, it's poisonous, dangerous, but we still don't know if that's what we're dealing with here. >> as we wait on these result, we are also waiting on white house spokesman, jay carney. he is expected to address us at about 11:45. the daily briefing, there will be a lot of questions about this and about the investigation into the boston bombings and a connection perhaps between the two at this point. again, we should note for our viewers, officials are telling us there's no connection at this point. they're not talking about a connection between the suspicious letter sent to the white house. >> in fact, they're talking in the negative. they're saying they believe there is no connection. >> no connection. pete williams, we'll take a quick break, come back with a lot more. stay with us. s ereturn-- our fastest way to return your car. just note your mileage and zap ! you're outta there ! we'll e-mail your receipt in a flash, too. it's just another way you'll be traveling at the speed of hertz. peoi go to angie's listt for to gauge whether or not the projects will be done in a timely fashion and within budget. angie's list members can tell you which provider is the best in town. you'll find reviews on everything from home repair to healthcare. now that we're expecting, i like the fact that i can go onto angie's list and look for pediatricians. the service providers that i've found on angie's list actually have blown me away. join today and find out why over 1 million members count on angie's list. angie's list -- reviews you can trust. >>> we are following a number of breaking news stories right now here at msnbc. you're looking at a live picture of the white house briefing room where we are expected to hear from jay carney at roughly 11:45. he will be receiving a number of questions about the suspicious letter received. it was a suspicious letter to president obama right now we're following that. we're also following a suspicious package. richard shelby's office is now confirms that capitol police are investigating a suspicious package at senator shelby's office in russell and at this point, again, at this point, investigator rs saying there's no connection between the suspicious letter, there was a substance found inside, no connection between that an the boston bombings. you're looking at new video we're just getting in. again, this is video from the capitol where that package is being looked at and senator shelby's office, that suspicious package, they're also saying, we have confirmed there are some similarities between two letters, the letter that was sent to the senate, also, the letter sent to the white house. jonathan dienst is standing by right here. results again may be available by late today at the earliest, we understand. >> that's right. they discovered these letters yes and the official lab tests take about 24 hours for that kind of test to be done, but preliminary field testing on both the letters to senator wicker's office and to the white house, both intercepted at off site facilities, have preliminary field tests of positive and appear to be sent by the same person, so that is why there is this concern, this stepped up investigation into the sender of these letters by both the secret service and fbi. and capitol police as they look into who sent these letters, but our senior investigative producer is saying it is the same send r according to his sources and that there are positive field tests in both cases and they are awaiting formal lab results. remember, we see lots of false positives in tests and situations like that. we've seen you know, suspicious powder jobs all across new york city for example, whether there's an initial false positive and it turns out to be a harmless substance, to a deep breath until we know more. but this one, this set of letters causing more concern for law enforcement than the typical false letter. >> we should also note here according to our man down in d.c., pete williams, officials seem to have a pretty good idea about who sent these letters. i want to bring in kelly o'donnell standing by for us at the capitol and when we talked to you just 15 minutes or so ago, you indicated that there was i understand an evacuation of sorts going on. what's the latest? >> i want to be very careful to say what we are watching unfold here is the pru dent work of the u.s. capitol police and it's the kind of thing that when you are in a building of this cig tans, they're prepared to do on a daily basis and there are times these things occur and we don't report on them because there isn't the context that we're seeing now with what has happened in boston and the ricin letters. this is a public building. there has not been an evacuation of this building, the russell senate office building. there has been a clearing of hallways around richard shelby's office and a significant amount of activity from u.s. capitol police. we saw the gentleman with the bomb squad identification on and some heavy equipment rolling down the hallway to take precautions, but again, if you put some judgment in this, they're not evacuating this space, they're taking the steps they would normally take. it is part of the reality at the u.s. capitol. they have been on a heightened state of alert since what happened in boston. sometimes, it has been seemingly minimal things like removing trash cans in public spaces. more security, longer lines for those coming into buildings, but this is a place where any member of the public is able to come into to visit their members of congress. they do go through a screening process. it's also a place where people are visiting. many tourist, people who have bags. we don't know anything about the specifics of what was at the office, but i think what is instructive here is this is an opportunity in a live way to let people see how they respond without raising an undue amount of concern. i think if there were a greater concern, we wouldn't be talking to you from this location. we would have been evacuated. >> again, kelly o'donnell noting there has been a clearing of hallways there at russell. for folks just joining us, on the left side of your screen, we've got the white house briefing room, where we are expecteded to hear from jay carney, he will undoubtedly be getting a lot of questions about three things. first of all, the letter sent to president obama intercepted at an off site facility. also, a package, senator richard shelby's office confirming that capitol police are investigating a suspicious package at the senator's office. again, there has not been an evacuation there. also, we got word a short time ago there was another letter perhaps an additional letter, a suspicious letter sent to senator wicker, so those are the three things we expect along with the boston bombing investigation. kelly, i want to bripg you back in right now because you broke the story on the richard shelby suspicious package there. any new information on that? >> we have reached out to authorities here who are taking the weigait and see approach. there were overhead announcements made to alert people in the media. i've talked to a couple of senators in the time in between visiting with you and they have not been given any additional alerts and there is a standard practice here that the chiefs of staff, senators personally and their top aides get alerts if there is a reason for extreme caution. this is a place well versed in responding to concerns. this is part of how the system works. when i've talked to senators with respect to the ricin letters, they were told in a briefing that the writer of the suspicious letter is known to authorities because he or she writes to members of congress frequently. that you can imagine does happen quite a bit. so, they are prepared for that. their offices were told to be on alert. again for those who aren't familiar, ever since 2001 and the anthrax attacks here at the capitol, all mail is tested off site in suburban maryland here, so all of the delivery of mail to the senate is on hold. it continues for the u.s. house as they do these tests. as we've been reporting, there were two initial tests on the letter. a white granular substance that proved to be ricin, but there can be false positives and more can be on the way. a culturing of that process should be able later today to know if that substance was in fact ricin. but everyone is responding to it as if this is something that needs to have their high attention, so we don't have much in the way of an official response except what we're observing and because i've worked in this place for a long time, we get a chance to see these routines play out in various levels of alert. today, obviously, everyone is is on point. >> kelly o'donnell from the c capitol, again, i don't think we can stress this enough, not only are officials being careful not to draw any connections between what's happening right now at the capitol and on monday in boston, they are saying at this point, there is no connection between these ricin letters and what happened in boston on monday. we'll take a quick break. we'll come back. we'll update all these stories right after this. i'm telling you right now, the girl back at home would absolutely not have taken a zip line in the jungle. 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[ male announcer ] get the spark business card from capital one and earn unlimited rewards. choose 2% cash back or double miles on every purchase every day. told you i'd get half. what's in your wallet? you'll have to pay five hundred bucks for your deductible. the truth? at allstate, you could pay zero. allstate gives you a hundred dollars off your deductible the day you sign up. then another hundred off every year you don't have an accident. let the good hands reward your safe driving with a deductible that goes away. ♪ deductible rewards. one more way you're in good hands with allstate. ♪ >>> welcome back. we continue to wait for white house spokesman jay carney. he is expected to start his daily briefing any minute now. no doubt today a great deal of that briefing will be devoted to three different things. the first being the suspicious letter that was sent to president obama that was intercepted at an off-site mail facility. also a suspicious package at senator shelby's office. his office firming that officials have cleared the hallway in the russell office building as they investigate what's being described, and senator roger wicker, the letter that initially tested positive for ricin, officials are saying that the letter sent to the president is very similar to the one that was sent to senator roger wicker as well. i want to bring in pete williams, our justice correspondent standing by for us in d.c. pete, again, for folks who are just joining us, i think once again it's probably a good idea to stress the fact that there is at this point according to officials no connection between these letters and what happened in boston. is that correct? >> right. what you have here is letters that were sent they believe by the same person. they believe they know who it was, a person in mississippi sent the letters to a senator and to the white house. both of them were intercepted at the off-site mail facilities that are now routinely used to process all incoming mail in washington to government facilities. this has been going on since after the anthrax mail attacks of a decade ago. initially they tested positive for a poison known as ricin, but field tests are frequently wrong. they're intended to be set at a very low threshold to signal what things you want to set aside for further testing. so the materials in both these letters have been sent to a laboratory for analysis. they basically take the stuff, put it on plates and culture it, and then once the cultures grow, and that takes time, they can analyze it and see what it really is. the earliest we think we'll get the results of that, they believe, is late tonight, perhaps early tomorrow to know for sure what it was. so in the meantime they're not making any arrests, we're told. they're waiting to see what the material is. there's simply no way to know whether these were merely threatening letters or dangerous letters. >> senator mitch mcconnell talked about the ricin letters just a short time ago. let's take a listen. >> the last few days have been trying once for our nation. monday's attack in boston reminded us that terrorism can still strike anywhere at any time. and as yesterday's news of an attempt to send ricin to the capitol reminds us, it's important as ever to take the steps necessary to protect americans from those who would do us harm. >> kelly o'donnell continues to stand by for us there at the capitol as we wait for white house spokesman jay karney to take the podium. talk to me a bit about the mood there. as the senator just pointed out, there have been a number of developments in this country over the past few days to say the least. what's the mood like? >> i've been talking to lawmakers about all of these events. you can be absolutely certain they are concerned. it began, of course, with the empathy and concern about what's happened in boston, and a commitment from an oversight perspective to get as much done as upon to deal with that. they've been getting breeched, and then you have the ricin letter, and it brings back the legitimate concerns that lawmakers have about the u.s. capitol as a potential target, even for someone who is angry about a given subject, angry about the government, or perhaps something more sinister. we just don't know yet. it's fair to say that on a very regular basis, there is some level at discontent that is aimed at lawmakers. i think that's a mild way to describe it. it comes in letters and phone calls o in talking with senators, they have said to me they consider this to be something they take seriously. i would say i have gotten no sense of any particular alarm, but they are well trained in being careful about this. they have an opportunity with the u.s. capitol police to get some guidance about that. now, in terms of members of congress, the vast majority don't have any particular security when they travel, just members of leadership have that, and so there are opportunities when there's a heightened sense of alert to have more presence. we've certainly seen a greater presence, but it's a place that's living and breathing and going about the way it normally does. we're in tourist season, plenty of tourists here, certainly the normal business of washington, where people come and meet with their lawmakers, so that's continuing. that certainly is a sign of how important it is to just keep things moving and to stay on point. >> kelly, thanks. thanks also to pete williams and kristin welker as well. again, we are waiting on jay carney to take the podium there to answer some questions about that suspicious letter. he will undoubtedly also be talking about the latest on the investigation to the boston bombings and the suspicious package that's being investig e investigated? senator shelby's office. that wraps things up for me. "now with alex wagner" is up next. what do you have. >>> we're following the breaking news regards the suspicious letter and awaiting for press secretary jay carney to take the podium. the search forrens as continues meanwhile, in boston with new details about the construction of the two bombs. mike at leiter will join us to discuss. plus behind the explosion of home-grown extremist groups. we'll talk about a new report on so-called patriot groups. >>> in the aftermath of boston, what is the future for reform efforts on guns and immigration. luke russert and bob herbert join the panel. all that and more, coming up next. and do you know your... blood type? a or b positive?? have you eaten today? i had some lebanese food for lunch. i love the lebanese. i... i'm not sure. enough of the formalities... lets get started shall we? jimmy how happy are folks who save hundreds of dollars switching to geico? happier than dracula volunteering at a blood drive. we have cookies... get happy. get geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more. to prove to you that aleve is the better choice for him, he's agreed to give it up. that's today? [ male announcer ] we'll be with him all day as he goes back to taking tylenol. i was okay, but after lunch my knee started to hurt again. and now i've got to take more pills. ♪ yup. another pill stop. can i get my aleve back yet? ♪ for my pain, i want my aleve. ♪ [ male announcer ] look for the easy-open red arthritis cap. >>> days after the bombings at the boston marathon, another campaign of fear begins with suspicious packages delivered to congress and the white house. it's wednesday, april 17th, this is "now." >>
MSNBC
Apr 17, 2013 11:00am PDT
citing boston pd. others citing federal sources. our own pete williams has taken a break from us to work the phones himself, and is now ready to speak us to in our washington bureau. pete, what do you know and what can we say? >> what we've been told by several source says there is no arrest. then it begins to break down from there, about whether -- let's start at the other end. what do they know? they believe they have video that shows what they were looking for. a person setting down a black nylon bag at the scene of one of the bombings and walking away. now as we go toward the other end of that, we have two conflicting source is on whether, you know, they see that person, they look at the face. do they know who it is or not? someone says yes, they are trying to find him. other sources say no, they are trying to figure out who it is. which is it, i don't know. i will say throughout this, from the beginning of this, this has been the hall mark of this story. that information that is pointing in totally different direction says coming from normally very dependable sources and you kn
MSNBC
Apr 17, 2013 10:00am PDT
>>> right now, heightened alert. the secret service intercepts a her possibly laced with ricin, and similar to a letter sent to mississippi's senator roger wicker. more precise tests are under way. we're following late breaking details from the white house, homeland security and capitol hill. >>> in boston today, the city mourns monday's victims, and a favorite son gets emotional on capitol hill. >> i've talked this week with friends and family up there, as recently as this morning, and the granddaughter of a very, very close supporter and friend of mine, through all my political career, is fighting to keep both of her legs. boston is not going to be intimidated by this, but we're going to find out who did this. >>> the fbi releases the first pictures of the bombs used in monday's attacks. while investigators follow up on more than 2,000 eyewitness tips. >> there is no current indication to suggest the attas walks indicative, but out of an abundance of caution, we continue to keep in place enhanced security measures, both seen and unseen. >> we're learning more about the three who died including graduate student lingzu dislu and krystle campbell, who went to the marathon to cheer for her friend. >> she was always smiling. you couldn't ask for a better daughter. i can't believe this has happened. she's such a happy worker at everything she did. this doesn't make any sense. >>> as boston comes to grips with monday's tragedy, the newtown families are dealing with an unexpected blow as the senate prepares for key blows today on background checks. joe manchin tells nbc news he doesn't have the votes. >> we have over 90% of the senate democrats that will vote affirmative. if we just had 20% of our republican colleagues, that's not a heavy ask, not a heavy lift. in west virginia, gun show background and criminal checks for gun shows, 83% of west virginiaens support it in one of toughest gun culture in the country. 86% across the board. >>> but they can't get to 60. good day on "andrea mitchell reports" in washington. as the fbi is learning more about the bombs used, capitol hill is now on alert. suspicious letters are being tested. they're targeting senators, and we have learned president obama as well. we should calling there's always the possibility of fats positives in the initial screening machines. joining me -- pete, first to you, what are we learning about these letters and the possibility of ricin? >> the possibility is the word, andrea. sent from a single person in mississippi, authorities believe they know who has done this. they've questioned that -- and they're waiting to see what the results are on them. ricin is made from castor beans. we've seen this happen in the past, someone will grind up castor beans, put them in an envelope, and that will trip the indicators that are looking for ricin, sort of like the difference between opium and poppies. they come from the same thing, but they're not the same thing. so they have these preliminary tests that -- for the last decade, no mail goes directly to the white house or lots of other government buildings. they have these -- they can't know for certainly until it's cultured, then they'll examine it. there may be more than these letters. whether it really contains ricin or not, we probably won't know until probably the very earliest later today or tomorrow. >> there are, there was a letter to saginaw, michigan office of carl levin and we should also point out that ricin, while poisonous is for the like anthrax. anthrax can be terribly, terribly dangerous. i wanted to bring in mike at leiter in as well. from your assessment and your sources, how is this proceeding, the fbi 2,000 tips, getting pictures, putting together the pieces of what these bombs were, what they were made of, how far have they gotten, do you know? >> i think they're doing quite well. we're not yet 48 hours in. we're getting there now, and they now have a pretty good idea about these devices. they know how many, they have a sense of how they were carried to the side, so that's a huge piece. from surveillance cameras that were in place from the city of boston, businesses in the area, and of course all of the photos and surveillance movies that people got on that you are iphones and everything else. there's been an enormous amount of work. with the central be gens agencies, they're seeing if they can -- or human intelligence to point in the direction. all of those things are think over the coming days and weeks will sloely by correlated. i think if things go well, they could -- in the come days. >> pete williams, is there any problems respect as far as you know to whether this is domestic or foreign. >> not yet. they still haven't identified who did it. many of the materials in the bomb were made in china, but lots of things are made in china, widely available here then the other is looks at these pictures. they have identified several things that stand out to them. but that would be a process of elimination. >> there have been questions to why we talk about the devices. the fbi is putting pictures out, because they want us to let people know what has been used. >> but just to be clear, these pictures were actually not released by the fbi or the government. we've gotten or hands on them, because they were either in intelligence bulletins, or i've never seen this many pictures this early in an investigation. i think the fbi shared them with some of their intelligence partners overseas who leaked them to an overseas news agency who put the pictures out there. but all these pictures, very surprising. >> it is surprising. thanks for the correction. part of the investigating procedures is, do you know someone who has been collecting they materials? >> absolutely. at pete said, over the past tense years they had warned local authorities, so that was inevitable. it's unfortunate that really sensitive information also needs to be protected, because the fbi, this is such a fluid investigation, they can't allow investigates to get out. it might warn the people they are looking for, or release -- >> so it's obviously on our shoulders to make sure that is protected in conjunction with the fbi and making sure we're not reporting on things that shouldn't be out there. >> the events in boston, facing a likely defeat of new gun laws. david grer goir join me now. david, you've been tracking this, kelly has following every in and out of it. echblg joe biden was telling people last night they were two both short. >> even hide camp said she's now not for it. >> it could be just among a small -- the reality is the background checks appear to be going by the wayside as has the magazine back. there are other taemds as a part of this. that would be part of the final package. make no mistakes they are prepared to come on the blasting on this, to make the point that republicans say what repeatedly is a 90% issue. >> and kell, from what you're hearing on the hill, there's no chance they're not going to proceed to these votes. they're goods to go ahead and force the votes even though they know they can't beat the filibuster? >> that is a question we have raised. every person involved says yes, they're going forward with the votes. they want the opportunity to be on record. one of the strategies that was talked about, but ultimately did not come to pass was the idea of taking at the initial votes on the assault weapons back and the high-capacity magazines. politically speaking, that would allow some members to get a no vote on record, and then perhaps in a better space politically to vote yes on background checks, but harry reid and mitch mcconned have put together this deal to vote on nine amendments, all related to guns, various aspects that will begin at 4:00 today. they agreed that it would be a 60-vote threshold. had republicans agreed to not put that 60-vote threshold in place, certainly democrats had enough, but they do not have all of their members, and there are only at this point three republicans who were speaking publicly, a fourth john mccain has given all the indications that he would vote yet for the expanded background checks. one thing we have heard, especially in talking in corners and hallways with some of those red state democrats, what i have heard is their offices have been lighting up with phone calls from people in their states, who do not support this. so we've talked a lot about the newtown families, ggabby giffords's influence here. what they're telling me is their own states highcamped said the people in don't want this. >> i was so struck by joe manchin saying it was 86% supported in west virginia. >> he believes that really stonily. >> by lisa murkowski, and probably others going against -- jeff flake -- is that how you explain it, the pressure on them? >> one of the issue says those members who have rural states are very concerned not about the over-arching idea, but the day-to-day bureaucratic piece that would become part of this. they're saying in law-abiden live -- they had would have to go to that location to do a background check, and those members who are talking about this say that's too great of a burden on law-abiding gun owners. that's kind of the small piece within this bigger story that's making it very difficult for some people who, on the surface you would think would vote for it. why they are voting against at this point there are other -- he said while they may lose this today, in fact he flat-out said he wouldn't have the votes, he will hope to bring it back. >>> not giving some of these republicans the room, that's what manchin was concerned about. there have been supporter who said the nra was effectively tea partied by more conservative elements of the gun lobby, making it more difficult for the nra to step back and not score, in the language of capitol hill, and hold them accountable. of course you also have the reality -- if it's a tough vote. >> and they know that it is unlikely to succeed in the house. some of them are arguing why should i walk the plank on this? is there also a big-picture look at this, those who have taken a tough vote for them on immigration, or preparing to, don't want to risk two different votes at the same time? >> you look at the analysis for marco rubio. he's stilling with the right on the issue of background checks. yeah, these are tough issues. you're already hearing some of the noises about whether boston and a renewed focus on counterterror will somehow impact the immigration push. we remember well what happened after 9/11 when president bush pursued it. it was simply taken off the table because of 9/11. >> david, it still strikes me in the aftermath of boston and newtown at some point if they don't stand up for something and fight a filibuster, that there's going to be a backwash from this. americans are going to stand up and say, what are you doing is it and whom are you representing? people in this country are really hurting. people even people outside of boston. >> you have an issue with big-time public support. i don't think that overcomes the differences in our gun culture in the country the politics simply have not moved enough. the big question is whether we're heading interest a position where there will actually be a big backlash politically, but let's not forget as well how much of the gun debate animates public safety, and not only political debates, but even have some role in this horrible event in boston. don't forget, back in the oklahoma city bombing kay tim mcveigh originally went to waco to protest the brady bill. so these are very tough issues on all sides. >> and we don't know what we're dealing with yet. >> no, not yet. >> david, thank you kelly, you have a busy day up there. thank you for taking time. >> sure. >>> and chris jansing is in boston on top of the latest developments there. chris, it appears now today you're closer to the bombing site? >> we've hearing all along that police wanted things to get back to normally, a weird word to use when you've had a tragedy. as quickly as possible. this is an area of commerce. you can see the big white medical tent that was essentially used as a trauma center in the aftermath. this is by far the closest we have gotten to that crime scene. we also learned today at times there's been as many as 100 investigators working this crime scene. they will continue to shrink it. they believe they definitely are making progress, both in findings parts of the bomb being analyzed, looking at all those individual photographs, and pieces of video, looking for a suspe suspect. >> there was also an interesting analysis. an assist found 6% higher police presence this year at the marathon than the last. of course they are looking at every aspect of this. you can see the activity behind me, andrea. >> and chris, what we're hearing now is these ghastly injuries, just horrendous, the amputations, the terrible lower extremity injuries, it's clear these devices were designed to maim and kill. >> reporter: there's no doubt about it. when you hear the descriptions from some of the trauma doctors. i talked to one of the heads of the trauma department at mass general today, it is absolutely astonishing, nails and bbs being embedded in little children. as you probably know, initially there were 176 people that went to hospitals. the good news geographically you have six top trauma centers within a mile and a half of where this occurred. of the 69 who are still in the hospital, 19 we learned today are critical. at least three of them are children. a 9 and a 10-year-old, and over at boston medical center, there is a 5-year-old boy fighting for his life, as well as a man who is in his 60s. you mentioned the fact there have been amputations. we know at least nine people have had one or more limits amputated. when you look at the challenges ahead, it will be to try to save some of the limbs of the people who are still struggling. having said that, the doctors say that these folks are improving, that they are really feeling very positive about the progress that many of these patients have been making, and so they are hoping that it will continue in that direction. just one more thing. i should tell you we did learn the name of the third victim. as we have been reporting, she was a graduate student at boston university, majoring in constituents. her name is lingzu lu, a native of china. her parents and family members apparently interviewed in chinese media. she was an only child. she had gone to the race with two of her friends, one of whom went to the hospital. we believe, andrea, is still hospitalized. >> everyone was withholding the name, the family had not been fully notified. there were grandparents involved, a terrible, terribly sad story for this young graduate student. there were a number of chinese-born graduate students, chinese natives at boston university, and of course the boston community is filled with foreign students studying there. so really sad case there. >>> when we talk about some of the terrible injuries, we know of one family where two adult brothers each lost a limb, each lost a leg. we know the young sister of martin richard, was an amputee. the doctors are trying to save limbs, but they're really trying to save lives. that is the essential ingredient here. >> when you talk to his doctors, and it's heartbreaking, they say this is one of the most different decision a surgeon has to make. having said that, you looked at the extent of some of the injuries, and it was absolutely evident to everyone that looked at some, that there was no way even the best of modern medicine they could not be saved, but they would always have two surgeons look and make that determination. they wanted to be absolutely sure that nothing could be done. it's never more heart-wrenching for them than in the case of children. we've heard doctors talking about the fact that the idea of looking at a young kid and living the rest of their lives without a leg was almost more they could bear. to that point earlier today, i was talking to frank keating, governor of oklahoma during the oklahoma city bombings. he was saying that 18 years later, we're almost to the 18th anniversary, there are still people who are suffering from post traumatic stress. most of them are first-responders. when i asked him what is the biggest concern going forward, he said that for many who had to deal with this trauma, many in that tent behind me, it's going to be months even a year from now when they start to feel the impact of what they have seen, what they have experienced, and that is going to be a very big challenge for the folks here in boston who responded to heroically, andrea. >> thank you so much. a thought of those people wo responded heroically are civilians who applied anything they could as a tourniquet, and the fact is that emts often do not have tourniquets on their vehicles, and it's something that really needs to be done. i spoke to surgeons here today myself, who said that is a key factor often in saving a limb. we'll be back in just a moment. support for boston continues to pour in, especially from new york. where the once rival cities have come together to mourn. >>> new yorkers and boston have a bit of, you know, a competition oftentimes the two cities accusing each other of various levels of suck-itude, but it's in situations like this where we realize it's clearly a sibling rivalry, and that we are your brothers and sisters in this type of event. as a city that knows the feeling of confusion, anger and grief and chaos that comes with these events, i can tell you from personal experience, you've got a hell of a city going there, and you've done an incredible job in the face of all of this. carfirmation. only hertz gives you a carfirmation. hey, this is challenger. i'll be waiting for you in stall 5. it confirms your reservation and 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bombing. what they are working from is exactly what they asked for, which is all sorts of pictures and all kinds of surveillance material to see if they could see anything doing what they thought happened here, which is carrying a heavy duffel bag or heavy backpack and setting it down in the area where the bombs were set off. they had found pictures like that, they say, but they tell us it's too soon to say whether they have, quote/unquote, a suspect or not. they are pursuing these pictures, trying to identify who the people are. i asked authorities a short time ago whether they were ready to show these pictures to the public, and they said no, we're not there yet. they say they're making very fast progress in narrowing down all these pictures they have received to focus in on what they want to look at, which is people in the areas where they believe the bombs were placed setting down things they believe the bombs were carried in. they have those vectors matching up. now the question is, are the people they see doing that the actual bomber, or is this a coincidence? are they witnesses. but to say they have a suspect we're told is not correct at this point. >> pete, thank us very much. >>> tom ridge was the first director of homeland security, and he joins me now. you heard pete williams. in an investigation, they see a picture, they want to talk to obviously anyone who might be seen putting down a package. that doesn't mean a person is a suspect, but certain -- >> when pete was given the description, it reminded me of the times that you and i, a lot of americans buy those 1,000 or 5,000-piece puzzle. magnify that by a million. they have more pictures or videos that you can imagine, but they'll do it in a me tick las incremental way just as they're picking up pieces of evidence on the scene, they'll do the same thing with the picture puzzle from all the video undoubtedly they received. it's a good and appropriate investigative technique. >> you know what goes on in a situation like this. obviously we have a suspect or suspects at large, who produced a terror attack and killed people. so there is a real impetus to get answers, a political impetus obviously there's pressure to get answers, but at the same time the worst thing would be to go after the wrong people. what's going on right now? you see here people saying we need answers, you hear people on the hill saying it, people in the white house quietly telling reporters we want answers, what should be the mode of the fbi and the people in charge? >> well, i don't think we have to be concerned at all about the sense of urgency that all the -- the small army of investigators, state, local, federal, but it's a very difficult process. remember how long it took us to identify the perpetrator after the '96 atlanta bombing. it took quite some time. but -- that's why i think we want answers, we live in a just in time world, but it's more complicated than that, and i think empeet should be all sure, the i want said everything that needs to be done is being identified. it maybe by months, it may be years, just let the process work itself out. >>> we've had a scattering of suspicious letters and packages. plim gnarl tests indicate ricin in the letters to senator wicker, and they were intercepted at the off-site facility. a lot of these are procedures you helped put in place. post-9/11, the anthrax attack happened a month later. we at nbc were victim to one of the attacks, and there was no relationship. the immediate response is oh, we're under siege again, but there was no relationship. anthrax is far more serious, more lethal. tell us what goes on in making sure these suspicious packages are also identified. >> some say we go back to the future. we had the 9/11 incident and the there can letters, most of which we are hoaxes, but obviously several people died. the fact of the matter is the infrastructure that's been built through a series of administrations to preempt this kind of incursion, this toxic incursion to the hill, that facility was build under the postmaster general with the great support of congress. the fact that you look at what happened in boston -- this is a story that will be written i think in greater details when the time is right. the fire services, the police, mcsill services folks rushed to the scene immediately. the hospitals were prepared for mass casualty events. the communication lines were open. the coordination was full and complete. that didn't happen by accident. there's an infrastructure that wasn't in place before 9/11 that's available now. i suspect when we look back, boston got quite a bit of money in grants, we're sharing information, did training and exercises, so at the end of the day i used to say homeland security may be a federal agencies, it's a national mission, you have to train together and fight together, and the after-action report i think should be kudos to the men and women who responded so beautifully. and psychological people ran to the hospital to give blood, ran to the fire, resiliency is not only an infrastructure, but psychology. i think we're demonstrating in boston we're a pretty resilient country. >> one quick factual question. letters don't just go to senators or the white house any longer. they go to the interim facility. everything is screened off-site. >> everything is channeled will you a special facility built post-/9/11, post the anthrax scares. obviously i think the field tests are probably a bit better too these days. we had so many false-positives, but way back then we were talking about ricin during the anthrax attacks. in 2003, i think there was a ricin-related arrest and prosecution in great britain. i believe they were from northern africa, using ricin. so people have been paying attention to this for quite some time, but that facility was built in response. >> thank you very much. >>> and "sweet caroline" the unofficial boston anthem played in an unusual setting 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[ bells tolling ] >>> queen elizabeth, leading dignitaries from around the world at the sermonian funeral of margaret thatcher in london. benjamin netanyahu, henry kissinger and george shultz were there. she received full military honors, adorned with white roses. there were some protests along the route. the funeral's $15 million price tag is also causing controversy, with prominent politicians saying she was too diadvicive a figure. margaret thatcher died of a stroke last month at age 87. >>> more than 100 federal, state and local investigators are scouring a 12-block stretch around boylston street for clues to who was responsible for the bombing. mark mazetti is a correspondent for "new york times," and author of "the way of the knife." about the secret drone war. first of all, mark, congratulations on the book. >> thank you very much. >> rave reviews and extraordinary reporting here. first about boston and what we know. there's a great deal of interest about whether this could have been foreign or domestic. we don't know that yet. this is a very common type of homemade incendiary device. >> pete williams gave the latest on where the federal authorities are zeroing in on suspects. the big sort of story yesterday was the construction of the bombs and whether speculatively, the bombers could have taken any inspiration from an online magazine only al qaeda in the arabian peninsula. even if that was the case, it wouldn't tell you if it was foreign or domestic. the point of the magazine was to tell everyone how to go do something. it could be someone linked to international terrorism or not. this is sort of the proliferation of some of these ideas, it certainly doesn't pinpoint any one specific thing. >> i also wanted to asked but a report, the bipartisan report on torture, came out yesterday, would have received a lot more attention if not for the often tragedy and investigation in boston. this is a bipartisan report co-authored by asa hutchinson who was in the bush administration, and came to this conclusion very reluctantly, he said, that torture was used, it was used not just in the waterboarding, it has not been acknowledged, and it was not productive. what is your take away from all of this? >> certainly as my colleagues scott shane reported yesterday, this is the most thorough look at the program, bipartisan look that we know of -- that we've seen so far. there is another report classified by the senate intelligence committee. having this bipartisan label on this report, because of its thoroughness, i think it will have a lot of clout. the issue, as you know, has been using torture -- using the term "tore curl" because torture is illegal, has been a subject of debate. these memos were all written to say these techniques are not torture. to have this report out that says let's not mince words, this was torture, i think maybe will change the materials of the debate. >> at it's described in this report, the white house lawyers in the bush white house went through legal ackro battics to say it was not torture, precisely because under the hague conventions you have war crime possibilities of charges that becomes a big foreign policy problem. that's one of the reasons why the state department was so opposed to the waterboarding under colin powell. >> exactly. to have it labeled -- so then you get into the territory of were crimes committed? and what kind of future implications there are for that. >> briefly, before i let you go. we do want to talk about it in more detail, the book. the appreciate now to move the program from the cia back to where many say it afc belonged in the military where there could be more oversight. what you've uncovered is the extent of secret relationships with pakistan, things that have never been reported, never been revealed, i guess, to other than the intel gens community? >> i think when you look at the history of the secret war since 9/11, there's so much that's gone on in the shadows that we have not known about and not certainly told to the public or told to congress. as you said, pressure is building to become more transparent. president obama set in the state of the union there would be more transparency, and we'll see what happens. >> the book is "the way of the knife." the author mark mazzetti, congratulations. >> thank you very much. >>> they're gathering to bury the state officer. the young diplomat's funeral is being held in river forest, illinois. smell she was on her way to deliver books to an afghan, she served as the escort officer for the secretary of state john kerry who reflected on her legacy today. >> i met her on my last vitt, earlier in the week, and i sat with her parents, and we swapped story about her enthusiasm, her energy, her vitality she really wanted to make a difference in the lives of people she had never met, and she was. so ann and ambassador stevens are really cut from the same cloth, and that is frankly what made them such outstanding americans as well as members of the state department family. one can cost you overoue $4 a meal per person? 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[ male announcer ] kellogg's crunchy nut. it's super delicious! at a hertz expressrent kiosk, you can rent a car without a reservation... and without a line. now that's a fast car. it's just another way you'll be traveling at the speed of hertz. >>> senators and their staffs are remaining on edge today as more suspicious letters have been discovered at a capitol hill mail facility. senator bob menendez joins me from the hill. we know this is an off-site facility, with screening providers put in place after the anthrax attacks post-9/11. what do we know about the suspicious letters and what are you being told? >> i don't know much more than that, andrea, other than that obviously from years ago when anthrax became a deadly weapon laced in a letter, that we've got these off-site facilities that do screens. that's been a saving grace, obviously in this set of circumstances. i've always concerned about her of our district office that don't go through the same process, but we have some very good men and women working off-site and were able to catch it. >> senator, the story of the day up there is obviously the gun compromise, why do we think it's failing. joe martialing says he thinking they short of the votes to stop the filibuster. it doesn't seem as though enough republicans are coming over. what is so difficult about this compromise procedure, which is not the university background checks? this is a very -- a much more narrow proposal. >> andrea, i agree with you. i'm bewildered. i just came off the floor, making the case while this is a step forward, it is really a small step forward, and a small response to the families in newtown and aurora, and of the sikh temple, and throughout virginia tech that we commend rated just the other day, it's such a small step forward,ity we can't seem to get the courage of some people to support the beginning and moving of the national conversation that creates greater gun safety. we have more guns in this country than any other nation, over 300 million guns owned by only 40% of the population. i can't understand, in addition to the background checks why we allow assault weapons on the streets that can fire multiple shots, ultimately for the purpose of, in my mind, killing not about hunting. you don't need those types of shots to go hunting action and why you can't get reasonable gun control measures that go through a background check to at least ensure universally that someone who should not have access to guns, buff criminal records or mental illness, ultimately can't be reviewed and stopped from owning a gun. so if those are the way the votes come down, it will be incredibly disappointments. >> some said they could take a vote on immigration, but not that plus guns. do you see a linkage there? how about that fare? >> well, look, i don't link the two. i think that clearly the whole question of votes on common-sense gun safety and universal background checks is about life and death. and in fact, i don't know how many of us would be okay with the counsel of patience and delay when we could have acted to prevent a neighbor or a loved one from being killed by a gun that ultimately we could have prevented access to. on the immigration bill, i just believe our immigration system americans believe that as well. it is time to fix it. we have a spectrum of eight senators that have come together, republicans and democrats from totally different parts of the nation with a common sense proposal, that ensures our security in the country. at the same time, make sure we can promote our economic prosperity and continue to make the american dream a reality as a nation of immigrants that obeys laws. and so, it's time to fix it and i think we've got the best start that i have seen in nearly 20 years in congress of trying to pursue immigration reform. >> when do you think it will get to the floor? >> i'm sorry? >> i'm sorry, when do you think the immigration bill, the proposal, will actually get to the floor for votes. fz well, i think we will start off with the judiciary committee hearing this week. we will continue to move in the judiciary committee. i think we will get a positive result there. move to the floor. it is my hope that that can be accomplished in may and that we would see debate on the floor on the immigration bill in june. you know, goodwilled individuals who can improve the bill. we welcome them. i know there are some members, if i had ten angels swearing from above this would be the best legislation for the country in reforming our system and securing our country, promoting economic opportunity and preserving the american dream, that they would say it is still not good. but i think we will get a good foundation of support, enough to beat the filibuster, enough to move forward with the strong vote and create some positive dynamic in the house. >> senator mendez, chairman of the immigration committee, thanks for being with us. >>> now back to boston and boston nbc native ann thompson reporting. now we are hearing reports they may have strong leads. we don't know how to characterize -- what is the appropriate characterization, but they've seen a lot of video and there are strong leads. we are hearing there may be developments we hope. this would be very fast, though, if it happens. >> reporter: it would be very fast and certainly would be a relief, andrea, to people here in boston. i can tell you for the last 48 hours this city has truly been stagger had. i would describe it as being pierced in the heart given what happened at the boston marathon. the marathon is both a very large celebration of people coming together and something very personal because almost everybody here has a connection to the marathon. they know somebody who has run it. they run it themselves. they've gone and cheered smor someone so the idea that police could be targeting somebody, zeroing in on someone this quickly, would really make a lot of people here very happy and in the last 48 hours, there has not been very much to be happy about. andrea? >> and ann, people are going back to work and school and dealing with this in trying to get back to whatever kind of normal, if you can call it normal, life there is, in boston. >> they are going back to work, andrea. a lot of schools have this week off for spring break. it comes a little later in massachusetts, as does spring. but yeah, people are trying to go back and do things certainly the city seems much livelier today than just yesterday. but at the same time, there is a new cautiousness, a new awareness about what could possibly happen to them. because nobody expected anyone would ever attack the boston marathon. certainly that was never in the general public's mind. now that it happened, people are far more aware of their surroundings. andr andrea. >> as a boss bostonian, let me just share, that if "sweet caroline" can be played in yankee stadium, maybe democrats and republicans can come together. >> reporter: i had that exact thought today when i heard them singing "sweet caroline" at yankee stadium. this is an nbc report. here's brian williams. >> good day pr new york. we wanted to come on the air to report some rapid movement in the investigation into the terrorist bombing at the finish line of the boston marathon. let's go to our justice correspondent pete williams in washington. we're seeing a lot of conflicting reports about a suspect, a person of interest and an arrest perhaps being imminent. >> reporter: what we know for a fact is we're told by several federal officials that no arrest has been made. there's a great deal of interest in a couple people they have identified. one in particular based on their review of all these pictures they have asked for. what they are concentrating on is people who appear to be carrying heavy black nylon backpacks and setting them down in the area the bombs went off. they have some matches like that and they are trying to figure out whether that is the real deal or the koicoincidence or a witness or what. it's rather confusing at this point. partly because of the one person's item of interest is another person's suspect. but what we have been told is no arrest has been made. we have heard frankly conflicting reports from seen r your federal officials about whether they have in fact even identified anybody yet based on looking at these pictures. some say yes, some say no. i would take a step back and say whatever is going on, it is a promising development. they would hope pictures would give them the leg up they needed to move the investigation along. it's going to take awhile to figure out who could have bought all these pieces in the bomb that are relatively intact in from the explosion. it's rapidly moving. i think it's fair to say we don't precisely know what's happening right now. but i believe this is very promising that less than two days since the bomb attack, they have some hot leads. >> let's talk about the science briefly. the fact the average iphone, the number of pixels that can be blown up to do basic facial recognition. the fact that there was a report today that a stationary camera outside a department store has been critical to law enforcement. the fact that most city streets, especially boston, especially new york, have multiple views of public walkways. so that combined with the fact that science allows us to now record and memorize faces electronically, new york city has cameras that even know if an individual and a package they are carrying becomes separated over time. that this, as you indicate, we kind of knew that this would be crucial in this investigation. >> reporter: especially since they are not merely looking for a face in the crowd, if you will. they are looking for somebody doing a specific thing. they believe, brian, that these bombs weighed about 20 pounds a piece based on their initial analysis of what was in them. and the fact is that they are looking to find someone who was doing a specific thing. carrying a heavy bag and then setting it down and walking away. so those are the heavy criteria they are looking for and they have found some things that match that. now they are trying to figure out who is this person and trying to find them, trying to identify them, and that we know for sure is going on. beyond that whether they have actually, a, identified a person so they know who it is and where they are, and b, whether they have made arrest, we think no arrest here. we are not even sure they i.d.ed it. we heard conflicting information on whether they have identified the person, whether they know who it is rather than just a face. one other thing, we have been showing this picture from our affiliate in boston that shows during the race you can see what looks like a trash can. there it is. they say that thing that looks like a mailbox or a letter drop box is a trash can. you see this bag sitting down next to it. we have now been told that that is the point. it's been obscured in this picture. that's the picture being blurred afterwards to conceal the injuries. but we have been told by officials that that's the point where the bomb went off. while they can't say for sure it was in that bag because they haven't found pieces to identify, we have been told by several officials that's where one of the bombs went off in front of that restaurant. that's one of the bomb locations. >> it appeared, and to my laymen's eye, to be one of the trash containers that maybe paper lined with a see-through plastic outer layer that had been put there. the kind that you would see, i don't know, at outdoor events and are portable and can be picked up after they were filled with trash. >> right. i've just
MSNBC
Apr 15, 2013 6:00pm PDT
route of the marathon or focused on certain areas? areas that you are focused on beyond that? >> our focus of the investigation in the area that the governor mentioned ? >> if so, how would dough. >> we're working very closely with the families right now. setting up a location near here that families can come to if they have questions. the mayor's office has fielded many calls of concern. we're going through those right now. >> 9:30 tomorrow morning for the next briefing. >> coming to you tonight from massachusetts general hospital in boston. thanks for being with msnbc tonight. i'm rachel maddow, and this is the rachel maddow show. just wrapping up the latest press conference from massachusetts authorities as they try to communicate the most information they can and let people know the latest in this incident. right now the most important bottom line is we know two people confirmed dead and more than 100 confirmed injured. over the course of the next hour, we are going to be speaking with eyewitnesss to today's events. pete williams nbc's justice correspondent is on the line as well. i'm sorry, i said there were two confirmed dead, it's three confirmed dead in the incident now. bill keithing is joining us with and reporters there on scene today. the bottom line is 113 wounded by blasts, at least three people killed. and in boston today, as you know today is the boston marathon, and the boston marathon is held on a state holiday in massachusetts only that's called patriot's day. and that always makes today a different kind of day than the rest of the year. but driving through boston tonight to get here to get to mass general, it's eerie. it's eerie in boston tonight that even with all of the security response that we've got right now, there's just nobody out. and obviously people are doing that and staying at home in order to respect the wishes of law enforcement authorities who are telling people essentially to stay out of the way while the investigation continues. as we get further details on the investigation, boston is left to confront the fact that with everything planned, with everything planned in terms of security, with everything planned in terms of making this the megaevent that it is in boston with hundreds of thousands of people coming into the city who aren't familiar with the city, mere for the event, to have a security event like what happened today, is -- it's hard to fathom. it's been hours, but it's hard to fathom. boston globe reporter david sable one of the people who's able to join us tonight. he was at scene today when this happened. mr. able, thanks very much for being with us tonight, it's a pleasure to have you here. >> thanks for having me. >> can you tell us where you were today and what you saw. >> sure. i was standing on the finishline taking video of runners as they were coming in. i was about ten feet from the first blast. and -- and i was sitting there in a crouch taking the video when i heard a massive explosion. i saw a plume of white smoke and -- and when that cleared, i just saw the most horrific images i've ever seen, images that will be seared into my mind for a long time. >> is it clear to you -- you were so close to the first blast, from what you're describing, is it clear to you how you avoided injury? did it seem like it was a very directional blast? a directional blast where the force all went in one direction and you were lucky enough to be out of its way? >> yeah. i think it was -- it was shaped -- shaped to have a charge that detonated from the curb on the sidewalk into the -- into the sidewalk. thus trying to maximize the number of casualties. on the sidewalk right by the finish line you had hundreds of people on both sides. i have run the boston marathon three times, and i like to describe it as when you cross on to boylston street, that last leg of the marathon, it's like you feel like you're hitting a home run at fenway park because the roar is deafening. and the crowd is like ten people deep, often. so whoever did this knew that where they were placing these weapons, these bombs, they knew that they were going to try to maximize their casualties because this is where the crowds republican. >> david in terms of the first blast and then the second blast. it must have been so disor yenting to be so close to the first one. even if it were the noise alone, that's a disor yenting thing, was it clear that there were two separate explosions, or did you think it was a shock wave? >> no it was clear. it sort of felt to me, someone who covered the attacks on september 11th, like, you know, at first, when you heard the first blast before -- before the smoke cleared, and you could sort of see the damage, there was this disor yenation that sort of felt like you're not quite sure, and then suddenly when the second blast occurred, it was seven seconds later, it was like when the second plane hit the world trade center, you knew immediately that this was an attack, this was not machinery malfunctioning or something like that. >> david, in terms of having run the marathon, covered it and being there today, is there a visible and sort of palpable security presence at that part of the race and along the race in general? is this the sort of thing where there's a police cordon and it's hard to imagine something like this having gotten through? >> yes and no. there is -- there was an immense police and security presence there. police and marathon volunteers line the route. that all said, you know, i think more than a decade after september 11th, 2001, people probably are not thinking about home grown or local terrorism in the same way. and perhaps, you know, this is just purely speculation, that the kind of security that we might have expected after september 11th, we aren't necessarily getting. that all said, you know, there couldn't have been more police officers and security on the scene. >> right. we've seen the rush of first responders -- sir, go ahead. >> sorry, i just want to add. and their presence was felt intensely in the moments after the blast in which they swarmed the scene and, while many people fled, they, you know -- while not knowing if there were other bombs, clearly, arguably risked their lives, and were very brave and very amazing the way they carried people to safety as quickly as they could. >> david able, boston globe reporter who was an eye answer, a close eyewitness to the blast today. thank you very much for being with us. i want to give you the latest information on user and where people are being treated and the kind of injuries sustained. the total number of injured that we know at this point is 113. in terms of the way that breaks down, 28 at brigham women's hospital, nine in the operating room, two with limb threatening injuries, they're talking about mostly bone and tissue injuries. the age range ranges from teens to mid-60s, eights to ten with are in serious condition, two critical. the most common types of injuries being described there are bone and tissue injuries. now boston children's hospital, this is harder to hear, ten patients as of 8:00 p.m., ranging from good to serious. six patients are children, one is the adult parent of one of the children. there have been no patient deaths among the patients brought to them from the scene. a 14-year-old with a head injury, a 10-year-old with leg trauma, a 9-year-old with leg trauma, 42-year-old parent of a patient is being treated there, 7-year-old boy treated for minor leg injury, a 12-year-old femur fracture, a 2-year-old had a head injury, medical surgical icu, three more in god condition. eight of them critical, no fatalities, the rest are being evaluated. at boston medical center, 16 in serious condition. there are nine patients being treated at tufts, 21 at beth israel. boston obviously one of the things that boston is known for, particularly the part of boston i'm in right now is the density of world-class level medical care available in the city and this part of the city and never more fortunate than today. i want to bring in the congressman now for our discussion. thank you for being here. you are new. you are not new to politics. you serve on the homeland security committee? >> that's correct. >> can you shed light on in terms of how this incident should be characterized, how we should think of this investigation going forward? >> it's hard to separate yourself from representing boston and being here. the city is just -- has a somberness tonight that i can't remember in a long time. so try to do that as all of us are looking at the family members of now three people that have lost their lives, and i think the number is even 120 now in the number of people that were injured. and you just try and make sense out of something that makes no sense. in terms of what appears to be a terrorist action. and we don't know. i mean, from a homeland security perspective, you look at the symbols. because that's what terrorists try to attack, that's the targets. here we have the marathon, the oldest in the country, one of the largest in the world, an international event attracting almost 100 countries that have runners here. so it's that kind of symbol that a terrorist would look at and also it's tax day. it's april 15th, and if it's a domestic terrorist that hates the government and wants to rebel, that's a symbol as well. we'll follow the evidence the way law enforcement do. being a former d.a., you only know what you know. and their sorting those things out. the fusion center here, where the federal law enforcement people work with the tolerate state law enforcement people is one of the finest in the country. it's rated that way. there's no question in my mind that that group added the assets of the entire country that the president is calling on will bring them to justice. there's that level of confidence right now. but it's hard to go there when you're sitting there, and, you know, that people that you know, and people that know other people have been injured in this, and this terrible incident, three have lost their lives. it's hard to get past that, now. but the professionals that are doing this are. and they're going to bring them to justice. >> and one of the reasons i wanted to get specific about the details from the hospitals is about while this targeted apparently near the finish line of the marathon, it really did target the bystanders which may explain so many children injured, 2-year-old kids aren't running the marathon. >> usually with family members in the race. so many of those family members are people running for charities, they might have a family member who has cancer, running to raise money for that. and their children and their loved ones are sitting there at the finish line to embrace them after an enormous commitment of time. so -- >> in terms of the type of attack this is, one of the things that's broken late this evening. there's reportedly a number of unexploded device was a the event. we don't have the details and locations yet, and they're telling us to proceed with caution in terms of the way we understand the character and how many different events might have been planned in addition to the two explosions happened. >> there are sources that we have had that have told us that there are at least two other bombs that weren't detonated as well. so you can look at the brighter side and say it could have been worse without the medical hospitals that we have so clear, without the triaging that's there for the marathoning. it's small solace to those who lost loved ones and those injured, but it could have been worse. >> as a former d.a., one thing about the unexploded devices in custody, that's very valuable evidence in terms of tracking the types of devices these were. and in terms of giving leads for investigative process. >> it is. and the devices that have exploded, they're valuable too in terms of evidence. that kind of forensic evidence. we bring in the best people in the country here in boston. we've got some of the best to begin, people from the fbi, new york, other areas that are specially trained on that. this is an amazing country, and as much as we feel that we're pulled apart tonight, i just think of all those people running shoulder and shoulder. and this city is lifeless tonight. >> yeah. >> but there will be tomorrow, and we're going to be pulling together as a country. and this is a very resilient city as well and we will pull together and help as much as we can the victims, and we're going to make sure that the people who did this are brought to justice. >> congressman, thank you for being with us. appreciate your time. thanks for being with us on msnbc. we are able to confirm three dead and more than 110 people injured. the injury numbers at this point, we've heard 113, 120, we are getting continued updates from the hospitals, from the many hospitals close to where i am, mass general, in terms of those treated. as we get more details, this does seem to have mostly hit people who had been gathered on the sidelines, not just passers by, and not just runners, but them people there to cheer on runners approaching the end of the four hour long race. the president today characterizing this as something that the perpetrators of this event will know justice, will know the full weight of justice. a senior white house official after the president's remarks characterizing this as an act of terror. much, frankly, inane political discussion about whether everybody is using the right nouns and verbs in talking about this when it is multiple explosions in an american city, whether or not you use the politically correct terminology is beside the point to me. but the president's remarks today will be marked as a benchmark in terms of the american response. i think we've got some of the president's remarks now. >> we still do not know who did this or why. and people shouldn't jump to conclusions before we have all the facts. but make no mistake, we will get to the bottom of this. and we will find out who did this, we'll find out why they did this. any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice. >> president obama speaking this afternoon at the white house. we're joined now from washington by nbc's pete williams, our justice correspondent. what can you tell us in terms of further leads or directions of the investigation at this point? >> one of them is what you were talking to the congressman about. that's really how many were planted and frankly this is all over the map today. the most up to date information that i have tonight is they now believe there were just two devices. now this is very confusing because at least five other packages found on the street were deemed to be suspicious and were zroied. at first the thinking was some of them were actually explosive devices that didn't go off. but, the best information we have tonight is officials believe none of the other packages contained explosives. so that's one thing that they're looking at. secondly, they stress there is no suspect in custody. but we know that they're talking to a 20-year-old saudi man here on a student visa, he had burns and was running from the area. he is being questioned, he has denied having anything to do with this. the officials say the two bombs that did go off included other things to multiply the injuries, bbs and ball bearings. it is not a new development, the man convicted of the olympic park bombing in atlanta in 1996 put screws and nails in his bomb. so this is a relatively common thing, unfortunately. investigators are studying surveillance video, they are asking for people in the area if they happened -- cameras or cell phones were make video, if they can see someone placing packages at the points where the bombs went off. they're analyzing the pieces now. they will try to get what you might call a signature of the twice to see if it's similar to other devices here or oversees, but their initial take on looki the buildings, injuries, pictures of the explosion, they zwrieb the devices as thankfully crude with less power than might have been contained in something of that size. >> on that point, on the nature of these explosives, obviously those of us who are watching this footage over and over again of a bomb going off in a civilian environment, it looks huge, but can we get a perspective on the size and power of the bomb? how we might compare to to those in a war zone, ieds or military ordnance? >> that's the analysis going on now. the people i've talked to who are doing that seat of the pants comparison say it's not huge. of course, it does look huge. over 100 people injured, that seems frightening. it is, but they were right around it, they were very close to it, crowded around, which you assume is the reason the devices were placed there. it does seem they were intended to cause a maximum amount of casualties, injuries and deaths. where they were placed, when they were placed, and how they were constructed with the additional shrapnel to amp up the injuries. >> pete, over the course of the day, obviously you get a lot of conflicting reports, some of which are not true, but we heard at least some tentative reports about the strategic placement of the devices, whether they might have been put in trash cans or mailboxes or parcels leaned up against the building. do we have anything firm on that? >> no. we're still waiting to hear more about that. the best information i have was they were placed in backpacks. but beyond that, leaning up against buildings, inside doors, in trash cans, i just don't know. >> okay. but, pete, one last question for you in terms of what we're able to reverse engineer on what happened based on the evidence from the explosives, is there anything in terms of either pattern or association with different types of extremist groups or loan wolf previous events that is suggested by this pattern of multiple explosive devices seeming to be of sort of similar caliber, timed to go off simultaneously, but not all of them do. is that the signature or kind of evidence that we might compare this to? >> yeah. we have to be careful saying others didn't go off. our best information as of 9:22 is there were only two. no others that were intended to go off and didn't. one thing you touch on is a critical point. were they on a time center were they on some kind of remote debt nay or? was there a cell phone call or someone pressing a button? they don't know the answers to those questions. two points about that, one is that may give them a clue in terms of how, where all that sort of thing, but the other problem with this, is that unfortunately there is a lot of this bomb-making introduction on the internet. it all says the same thing, if you want maximum saushlties, put them at soft targets, where people are known to be. the united states has been relatively luckily free of this sort of thing. but that's a key question. one other point that i should probably mention here, rachel, there is no advisory tonight from the department of homeland security urging other cities to take precautions. and the reason for that is, that in this day and age, they don't just turn up the -- the next signal on the chart unless they have specific intelligence that indicates they should cothat. we're told there isn't any. there's nothing to suggest this is part of a larger plot or other cities targeted. indeed we're told there was no credible intelligence running up to this event today indicating that boston would be a target. >> double edged sword. it's good to here no subsequent targets, on the other hand, there was none that have intelligence lead up to it either. pete williams, we will be checking in with you again. thank you. good to have your reporting. i'm live at massachusetts general hospital, if you're hearing ambient notice and seeing things going on behind me, this is a response to today's events. i want to bring in jeff, who works for nbc companies. he was a runner quite nearby when the explosions happened. thanks for being with us, appreciate your time. >> no problem. my thoughts and prayers with the victims and their families right now. >> as are all of ours. absolutely. can you describe for us where you were and what you experienced when the explosions happened? >> i just turned down boylston street, and i about a third of a mile to go. i was trying to break four hour in the marathon and i had about two or three minutes when i got a leg cramp. you know, if not for my desire for four miles -- for four hours, i -- i probably would have stopped and kind of walked to the finish line. but i said i'm going to power through and try and go as fast as i can. i crossed the finish line, and within five seconds, i heard a huge boom. didn't really know what that was. all the day at the marathon you see band and drums and music, a lot of noise all day. to so to hear a loud noise, i didn't think all that much of it, but i turned around and saw a huge mushroom of smoke. immediately i knew it was something serious. about ten seconds later, i heard a second boom. and clearly, i knew at that point, you know, it was a serious situation. you know, the volunteers did a fantastic job of getting the runners away. you know, i immediately started walking back. my family -- i didn't know where they were. i had seen them earlier, about mile 16, fortunately for me they got stuck in traffic on the way back. their plan was to be sitting near the finish line. i saw one of my colleagues sitting near the finish line. obviously i was very concerned for her. and then it was mayhem. i didn't have my cell phone. the volunteers were incredible, offered up -- saying anyone needs a cell phone. but the problem was you, you know, the lines were all, you know, everyone was trying make a call at the same time. finally i did get through to my wife and kids, and, you know, fortunately for me and my family, they were okay. >> jeff, in terms of your perspective as a runner and came through that area, was there anything that you could tell in terms of just the number of people that were in the area that seemed to be where the initial -- where the two blasts were concentrated, how deep were the crowds there? >> very, very deep. 10, 15, 20 people deep. you turn down boylston street, and i equate it to someone's announcing nor name for the starting lineup of the super bowl. it's the last third of a mile, thousands and thousands of people. many runners have their name on their shirts, a personal feeling, screaming your name. at least 15, 20 deep. and as i was looking for my wife and kids, there were so many people, there was no way i could have spotted them. so -- you know, thousands. >> jeff, who's vp of sales and marketing for nbc universal sports never expected to be on tv discussing this. glad you're okay. thanks for being with us. all right, if you watched this video from boston globe reporter steve silva, you can see that he hears the explosions and he starts running not away, but toward the chaos. and if you stay with it, within two minutes, race volunteers from the boston marathon are pulling back the barricades and reaching the people affected. and police officers are flooding into the scene with regular folks and guys in camouflage. i'm not suggesting you should run toward danger, but that's what hundreds of police and fire fighters did. among the many, many first responders were state police and fbi agents and national guard and atf agents, so many people reaching for the cell phones, sprint and ve rye swron asked customers to please send text messages instead of calling so they could free up space on their networks. the national hockey league cancelled the game between the ottawa senators and bruins. it's all so police can concentrate on the aftermath in boston. who in boston feels like playing anything at this moment? the boston police department put out a call today for video of the finish line. any civilians who may have been taking video in fact area. peel did respond to the call from the police. police asked people to go home, not to stand around in large crowds. then they cordoned off streets in the immediate area. subway line is closed, with hotels evacuated, it was not clear that marathon runners from out of town would have a place to sleep. one of the remarkable things today is seeing the people of greater boston starting to post offers of shelter on message boards. extra bed and couches to sleep four to five plus floor space. i will come pick up anyone who needs a place to stay, i will do whatever i can. so much of the response makes sense in a that's what humans do kind of way. this attracts elite runners from around the world. you need to have finished in just over three hours to qualify, they usually have an after race party, that's cancelled. we have reports of runners continuing to run the final mile and half to the hospital so they could give blood if that's what needed. because that's what borderline-hero humans try to do. the red cross website crashed, and tweeted they had plenty of blood and thank you and please make an appointment in the future to come back. today is a holiday in all of massachusetts, and especially in boston. bostons missouri barnacles will be joining us. the patriot's day with schools and government officers closed, it's a red sox day, the red sox play a morning game at fenway park in boston. joining us now, i'd love to bring into the discussion is mike barnacle, long time sports writer, msnbc contributor who was at the game today. >> i was. >> this is one of the strangest days in history, patriot's day alienates the rest of the country anyone, it's a boston only holiday. >> tough day, hard day. a community day, a community of interest, people from all around the world come here, as you indicated the red sox play at 11:00 a.m. it concludes, depending on the length of the game as the stralg of marathoners come down to the finish line. 35,000 people in fenway park, hundreds of thousands along the marathon route and on boylston street. it's a school holiday, school vacation week, people standing there ready to cheer on their relatives, their friends, their wives, their husbands, significant others who are running for causes as dispa at as cancer, muscular dismetro fee. and it's a small city, small downtown, walkable city. i talked to one particular young man, a hour, andrew, eyewitness, he was standing in front of a department store, and the finish line was perhaps 75 yards to his right. and he was waiting there for his girlfriend to finish the marathon. he heard one explosion down at the finish line, 75 yards to his right. he estimates 15 to 20 seconds later, a second explosion about 25 yards to his left. low level explosions, number of -- number of the injured suffered leg wounds, amputations, horrific physical damage to them. this is a two block area, perhaps 100 yards long. and on this particular day, as happens every patriot's day, again as we indicated, people from all over the world, a kenyan and ethiopian were the first two finishers in the marathon, people from all over the united states run, they arrive with extended families who wait innocently and joyo joyously, and what was once a joyous scene is tonight a murder scene. >> you came through the city tonight to come down, and been out in the city since this happened, it does not feel like boston in a way. >> no. it's -- there's a solemnness, obviously, to the city this evening. the city is pretty much -- large areas of the downtown shut down. >> yeah. >> difficult to travel by car. but there's a resiliency in the air that you would sense not only in boston, any place, in the berkshires, in northern california, in dallas, texas, and it is this, i think, in that the objective of these bombings today were to instill fear in people, to instill such fear in them that they would not commune together, not gather together, they would be afraid to go out of their apartments and their homes. not here, not this time, not in this country. the sun will rise tomorrow, people will get up, go to work, slap each other on the back and go forward. that's who we are as americans. >> one of the things about boston public safety and boston security is the whole country knows in a way about the closeness of the boston pd and fbi in terms of totally unrelated measures, the most famous cases in the country, we have heard about the joint terrorism task force and atf and federal authorities coming in to work together. in your sense about how boston public safety works, is this the sort of thing where the city will take the lead, do you think there will be a seamless integration? >> i'm led to believe, and talking to several people in the past few hours, the integration has taken place. the fbi is running it. the atf has a pretty solid forensic hand print on the contour and the makeup of the explosive devices. they have at least one, perhaps a couple of them. so that would provide enormous leads, i would think. interagency jealousies, they will always exist, but not on this. >> mike, thank you for being here. we will check back in with you. mike an long time boston journalist. we are at the hospital in downtown boston, and we've got more ahead on the aftermath of the bombings at the boston marathons, we'll be right back. oh, he's a fighter alright. since aflac is helping with his expenses while he can't work, he can focus on his recovery. he doesn't have to worry so much about his mortgage, groceries, or even gas bills. kick! kick... feel it! feel it! feel it! nice work! ♪ you got it! you got it! yes! aflac's gonna help take care of his expenses. and us...we're gonna get him back in fighting shape. ♪ [ male announcer ] see what's happening behind the scenes at ducktherapy.com. 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joining me tonight from massachusetts general hospital in boston, thanks for being with us on msnbc, an earlier press conference, the governor of massachusetts stressed that the site of today's bombings at the boston marathon are still an active crime scene. he said that federal, state and local officials are on the scene, but that the fbi is leading the investigation at this hour. the governor speaking, of course, about the two large explosions seconds apart that tore through the city today, 2:50 p.m. this afternoon on a day when half a million people had poured into boston to take part in and to watch the city's annual marathon. the first sploigs hit as runners approached the finish line, the second between ten and 20 seconds later about 1700 yards away from the first. as of this evening, authorities say that three people have died, including an 8-year-old boy. more than 113 people have been injured in these blasts, several people sustained critical injuries. at least a dozen of the injure ready children. witnesses describing a horrific scene, some of the injured lost limbs, what million professionals call traumatic amputation. there is new information, beth italy, 21 patients, 7 with life threatening injuries, three others reporting having more than 20 patients on scene, boston children's hospital reports 10 patients from the attack today including a 14-year-old with a head injury and a 2-year-old boy also with a head injury sent to surgical icu. it has been reported tonight that two more twices were found near the scene of the initial explosions. two more devices, that is the number reported this evening. as we spoke with pete williams earlier, he stressed caution about whether they should be seen as similar to the ones that explode. we shouldn't characterize them as unexploded bombs of the type that did explode near the finish line of the boston marathon. law enforcement officials did carry out one controlled ploegs an hour after the bombings. that usually means there were more devices but for one reason or another did not, so police detonated those. so some of the things that police may have detonated may not have been bombs. the one that achieved the most notice happened roughly 4:00 p.m. this afternoon. three hotels were evacuated today because of reports of suspicious packages. the marriott hotel and lenox hotel, and flights in and out of boston were grounded for a time following the attack welcomes and the air space over washington, d.c. was closed for a time. that has reopened as have now the boston airports. also today what could just be a bizarre coincidence, there was a fire and sploeks explosion at the john f. kennedy presidential library in boston than. that happened after 3:00 p.m. this afternoon. there was a large hole through the building. conflicting reports about whether this incident, about a 15 minute drive from the scene of the explosions at the finish line, conflict reports on whether they believed them to be related. latest word is the jfk incident and the marathon may not have been related at all. it may have been a fire at the library that was unrelated to what was happening 15 minutes away by distance at almost the same time. at this hour, law enforcement officials tell us there have been no arrests, no identified suspects in the attack. this evening president obama addressed that lack of information in his comments about the bombings. >>> make no mistake, will get to the bottom of this, and we will find out who did this, we'll find out why they did this. any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice. >> the president during his comments did not refer to the explosions today as terrorism or as an act of terror, but shortly after he finished speaking, a white house said any event with multiple explosive devices is clearly an act of terror and will be approached like that. i want to bring in cary sanders joining us from boylston street. as close as we can be to the scene. what can you tell us about what police are doing on scene and how that site is being treated. >> right now, beyond just this location, the authorities have deployed teams of officers that are looking in every abandoned spot to see if there is something else out there. they're getting multiple calls, everything looks suspicious. that is just fine, they want to check every single thing out on the off possibility there may yet be an unexploded device planted in and around thety. police have put all the officers on of a from bravo shifts, 12 hours, and then another 12 hour shift. everybody in or out of uniform is working over the next 24 hours. that will continue for the coming days. now for those who live and work in and around this city, the governor said this it will not be business as usual. part of that will be just getting around. traveling on the t, the subway and the streetcar system here will be much slower for passengers because many of those officers are going to be looking in backpacks, looking in parcels, anything that people are carrying just to make sure there is nothing that is going to be in an area that could be a problem. interestingly, as all of this has developed here, the police commissioner who is really now tapping into the intelligence network that he has in this city calls this act a cowardly act. if it is a single individual, intelligence analysts say it will be perhaps a little more difficult track down that person unless they raise their hand in some way. if it is a network of people, analysts say it will be slightly easier because likely somebody will say something and word will get out. the officers in the intelligence network here are now tapping every source that they have, every considerable informant that they have to try to find out if there is a piece of information,ing? that may not have appeared to, important, but connects back to the people or person responsible for what happened here in boston. as an aside, it's been very interesting that when the explosion happened, and then the second one followed, i'm originally from boston, my niece was here, she's a short distance away, she felt the explosion, called my brother, got me on the phone, she said she could feel it vibrating, we weren't able to talk in a few minutes because the phone system was overwhelmed when people realized what happened. one person said when it happened they were a good distance way, they could seat vibration in the water on their glass wondering what was going on. most of the communication now is back, but a lot of people in the initial hours were getting word out to loved ones, texting, on facebook, google people finder, putting up twitter accounts, those folks who have been unable to reach loved ones, it's a matter of their problems. the system sitz up and working. think about this, 26,000 plus runners, 96 countries, word went out on the internet almost immediately, and people from all over the world started calling to find out, are you okay? a very, very complicated and tragic night in a stay city that you and i both love. >> absolutely. thank you so much. we're going to be checking back in with you. nbc news's correspondent is on the scene at boylston street. we have just received new video that we have not shown before. new video from aptn that clearly shows the second blast. we have been able to see the first blast on the video today, but looking at the second blast. i want to bring in now michael lighter, ms nbc news security analyst, former director of the national counterterrorism center. thanks very much for being with us, i appreciate having your expertise to tap this evening. >> good to be here, rachel. >> can you give us, i guess any sense of context for understanding how sophisticated, how big these types of bombs were compared to the other types of explosive devices that are used in attacks around the world. can you give us understanding of the size? >> it's difficult to estimate but something like a suitcase or medium backpack could carry 50 pounds of explosives and provide a lot of damage for a radius of 150 feet out. they look like they are smaller than that, which would fit with the description they might have been backpacks. as pete williams noted, what we don't see is significant damage to the structures around where the bomb appeared to be. this is clearly not what we have seen in places like pakistan or what we saw in the merrill building with timothy mcveigh where a truck bomb, van bomb does tremendous damage to buildings. my guess is we are looking at smaller backpack size in terms of sophistication, it's difficult to say, but clearly they are reporting about items in there like ball bearings, b.b.s, a very good indication they were clearly intended to maim and kill. >> is bombs of that size and of what we know of the description about what was there, as you mentioned in terms of what seems to be deliberate shrapnel, to build something like that, does it take expert knowledge or is that the kind of thing people can find easily available public sources? >> regrettably, it is much easier to find information on this than officials and the public would like. if you get online, not all the reports on the internet are perfect. with any sort of comfort with chemicals, access to things like nitrogen based fertilizer, an individual who a relatively handy can make these bombs. that can be dangerous for the bomb maker. they are thot always successful as we saw in 2010 with the times square bomber. there's an individual who is trained, he bought the wrong materials and the bomb fizzled. we saw with the underwear bomber, a relatively sophisticated bomb that didn't go off. it is not perfect or easy. with hydrogen peroxide explosives or fertilizer, anyone who is remotely handy can make bombs like this. >> what would you expect to be the first thing the fbi would be doing in starting the investigation into an attack like this? >> regrettably, this sort of situation is one that the u.s. government and state and local governments had to deal with before. it is one that they are actually very well trained in doing this sort of thing. in fact, in march of 2011, my organization, the national counterterrorism with homeland security did an exercise with the city of boston to prepare for an event like this. what the fbi will do is the fbi, all federal agencies in boston and state authorities in massachusetts, they are going to do a couple things. one, people talk about the forensic examination of the site. they are going to go back and talk with all their sources. they will talk with sensitive intelligent sources. everyone in the federal government will coordinate with the fbi, but looking overseas and domestically in telephone communications, all trying to piece together to see things they had that were previously innocent or new information about people who might be talking about this attack. it will take a little time. over the next 12 to 24 hours, we'll get forensic information about the bombs. from there, it will piece together. the video tape from the scene, license plates of cars in the area. all of this enormous data will be used to combine a holistic picture. i expect in the coming days, we'll have a better sense of who is behind this. >> michael lighter, we are lucky to be able to talk to you tonight. thank you for joining us. >> thank you, rachel. >>> massachusetts is about to have a senate election. john kerry gave up his senate seat in order to be secretary of state. the race to fill his seat included somebody running in the marathon today. gabriel gomez crossed the finish line within minutes of the explosion. joining us now is will ritter, the press secretary arranging a party for mr. gomez when he heard the blasts going off. thanks for being here. >> thanks for having me. >> where were you? >> i was at the corner. we were going to have a press conference, we were going to talk to the media. we were assembling the media. >> he already cleared the finish line? >> he had, fortunately ten minutes earlier. he heard the blasts and turned and saw the smoke from boston public library 100 feet away. >> in terms of the scene and how people reacted, most people's instinct is to run away. people who are trained or know they have something to offer will run toward the scene, how did that balance out? >> that was scary there. where i was, where the friends and family meet up with the 26,000 people crossing the finish line, you have a lot of fathers jumping the barricades. you have police and fire jumping to get to the explosion. you have a great mass of people running east toward boston garden, boston common public gardens. it was a lot of chaos. >> the chaos in terms of people trying to figure out where to go must have been magnified by the second explosion. >> it went off. we have a lot of cannon blasts in boston. the second one, you hear people yell things like bomb and running. at that time, you know, we just kind of dispursed. i live a block away on the other side. i ran back to my apartment to make sure my sister and girlfriend were okay. >> how is gabriel? >> he's all right. he was shaken up. he got with his wife and kids and he's home with his family safe. >> this is a day when all politics is suspended except for -- in massachusetts, the different people who are vying for the senate seat have to make a decision about how to contribute now. gabriel gomez is not a public official, but vying to be one. ed marky on the democratic side. everybody is suspending campaign. is there a way that you can do more help than otherwise? >> i think we have asked people to give blood. we haven't put anything on the schedule. that's the important thing. the victims, i mean where the finish line, where the bombs went off, whoever was trying to make a political point need to realize, they were children clapping for their moms and dads. they created havoc. it's the farther thing from our mind. our hearts go out to the victims. >> on the day that is more boston than any other day. i'm glad you are all right. >> thanks, rachel. >> appreciate it. will ritter is the press secretary for gabriel gomez, who did finish the race today and is fine. >>> all right, we showed video earlier on of the first explosion at the end of the boston marathon. we have now since received video and play video of the second explosion at the boston marathon. the latest reports show police and law enforcement are treating it as an active crime scene. this is an active and open investigation. federal law enforcement and local law enforcement are working together. being out in boston, i'm at massachusetts general, mass general hospital, it doesn't feel like the boston you know. if you have ever been to boston before, it's a very serious night. now it's time for "the last word" with lawrence o'donnell. >>> in the boston marathon, the moment when boylston street has the largest number of runners crossing the finish line at once happens two hours after that start. today when it was most crowded with runners, two hours after a woman from ethiopia won the marathon, this happened.
MSNBC
Apr 19, 2013 2:30am PDT
car's owner at gunpoint for some time. then later releasing the person unharmed. police followed the car to watertown. the suspects apparently threw explosive devices from the car. at some point during the standoff, they had at least one pressure cooker bomb similar to the ones used at the marathon finish line in boston. one suspect was killed in the shootout. again, the one in the black hat. he was reportedly run over when police approached his body. they discovered an ied strapped to his chest. these individuals were certainly planning on delivering more carnage in their paths, wherever they were going. witnesses reported hearing explosions and a massive gun battle that you can hear in this video between the two suspects and police. here's what adam, who had gunshots come through his window, told us not long ago. >> i went to the window, and right outside of our apartment there were two shooters in between a sedan and a black mercedes-benz suv. they were in between these two cars taking cover behind the black suv, shooting down our street, which is laurel street. they were shooting westward, which looked to be about six to ten watertown police army vehicles. they were shooting about what seemed to be 70 to 80 yards down the street utilizing handguns. while they were engaging in gunfire, they were also using explosives. it looked to resemble a pressure cooker, from what i've seen from other pictures online in the last few days. i saw them light this bomb. they threw it towards the officers, and it only got maybe 15 to 20 yards down, so it wasn't very close to the officers, but it really created a significant decoy. there was smoke that covered our entire street. at that point, one of the shooters ran towards the officers while still engaging in gunfire. while he was still shooting at them, a few seconds later, the second shooter got back into the suv and turned it around and went full speed into the police officers. >> all right. police say other unexploded explosives have been left behind. officials tell nbc news the two suspects in the marathon bomb having international ties, may have military experience, and appear to have been in the u.s. for as long as a year. again, one of the suspects, the one in the white hat, remains at large at this point. we're going to turn now to nbc's michael leiter. he's a terrorism analyst. he's joining us now from washington, d.c. michael, just from what we've heard as it unfolded all night long, complete chaos still in some areas, especially in watertown, massachusetts, where a suspect is still at large and clearly extremely dangerous. but the latest information about the suspects, what does that tell you? >> well, it tells me that honestly these guys probably don't lack the sophistication that people started imagining when we were just talking about the pressure cooker bomb. it was very, very simple and not much to it. they had obviously planned a lot out. i think that's how the fbi and boston authorities had been approaching this. although they now thought they recognized two, who knows how dangerous they could be, what else they could have set up, improvised explosive devices on their body they were carrying. this shows these two had thought a lot about this for a long time. we saw some of that planning with the precise placing of the bombs right there at the finish line. >> yeah, the brazenness and just pure sickness of their actions. even from video at the bombing showing them literally looking at the scene, the carnage as it unfolded instead of running away from it. also, possibly any signs here from what we've heard in our reporting that they have been planning this for quite some time and this isn't some sort of random act that was pulled together at the last minute. >> that's right. and i'm going to try not to make the mistake that others have made in this investigation, to prejudge and get out ahead of the facts. what we know is we've got one dead and one very, very dangerous individual still out there. whether they have links to others, even that, i think the investigators don't know. i think they probably think it's these two, but do they have support from other people here or elsewhere? where else might they have ieds? again, they're going to keep this very, very broad and try to narrow in on this one individual. >> all right. if you could stand by, we're going to go to watertown right now and just updating. these law enforcement officials say the activity overnight they have been dealing with, including the killing of one of the two suspects in the boston marathon bombing, they are directly related to the bombing. the two suspects have military experience and appear to have been in the u.s. for as long as a year, officials tell nbc news. and may have international ties. with that information, joining us now from watertown, massachusetts, is michael isikoff, who's there on the scene. michael, what can you tell us? >> reporter: well, these are two cold-blooded terrorists, in the words of police. we saw a pretty brazen example of that tonight. here's the sequence of events as we understand them right now. at about 10:20 last night, there's a robbery at a 7-eleven in cambridge. after that, an m.i.t. police officer was shot and killed in his head. at that point, the two suspects who are the suspects in the boston marathon bombing, engage in a carjacking and seize a black mercedes suv. the victim in that case, the owner of the vehicle, is kept with them for about a half an hour while they drive through and head towards watertown chased by police. at some point, they let the victim out, and the police chase ensues to watertown at which point there's this fire fight. explosive devices are thrown from the car. one of the suspects is -- an mbta transit officer is wounded seriously. one of the suspects is critically injured, taken into custody and is now dead. the other, the man with the white baseball cap, suspect number two in the boston marathon bombing, escapes. now, there's some indications that police may be aware of where he is. we see some police activity just down the road from us here, an indication that they are concentrating on one building, an office complex not just a couple blocks from where we are now. we don't know if the suspect is there. there seems to be some suspicion he's there. it may be they have him surrounded at this point. we're waiting to hear that and learn that shortly. >> michael isikoff, we'll check back in with you. at the end of the chase, authorities of course shot and killed one of the suspects. he was run over. as they approached his body, they discovered an ied strapped to his chest. police say the streets are littered with unexploded devices and that depending on their ability to render them safe and to arrest the second suspect, authorities may freeze transit and lock down the town of watertown and adjoining areas until they find him. this guy is extremely dangerous. joining us now on the phone, former philadelphia police chief john timinney. what does this tell you about the suspects? especially the latest information that they may have international ties and have been in the u.s. for as long as a year? >> well, it's quite unusual. usually these terrorists, suicide bombers, they go out with the bomb itself or they usually hit with a detonated device and flee the area. these two guys obviously detonated the bombs but then hung in the area for four extra days. what happened last night when the fbi released the pictures is reminiscent of what happened in d.c. during the sniper case back in 2002. in this case, the car. in this case, the pictures were released. within six hours, the bad guys are spotted. one officer gets killed at m.i.t. that begins a whole series of events culminating in the killing of terrorist number one. now it looks like they may have located the second guy. but these guys present a tremendous problem in that they're willing to go out in a ball of fire. the second person still may have some ieds on him or nearby or setting a booby trap. so this is a real, real difficult situation. already one cop has been killed, another seriously injured. so the police, by necessary for their own protection, but also for the protection of the people in that small town, have got to move methodically. the best thing people can do is stay in their homes, shelter in place until this whole thing is over. >> so what -- just given what we know -- and in a sense, i'd love to know what your call would be given what we know. but locking down an entire town and adjoining areas, how is that done? clearly, police paneand fbi age and everybody involved here have to find this guy. they're driven not only by the necessity of what happened at the boston marathon but the necessity of the moment, having lost one of their own, which will drive them even further to make sure they get him. but how, chief timoney, how do you lock down an entire swath of land? >> well, i mean, i've been involved in situations like this. so usually what you're going to do is use loud speakers. especially when daylight hours come. my sense is everybody is awake in that neighborhood. you had the young student on before where a bullet went through his bedroom window and almost hit him. the people in that neighborhood are aware. the police are just re-enforcing. i can guarantee they're watching msnbc, they're watching other television, listening to radios. they're getting the message to stay indoors. the only thing they can do by coming outdoors would be to complicate matters. we saw one gentleman earlier, obviously an innocent guy, who wound up having the police handcuff him because you don't know who you're dealing with or who's the real person, who's the person they're looking for. these are extremely fast-moving, dynamic situations. what police need at this time is for full cooperation where there aren't extra people out on the street, they stay in their homes, out of danger, and allow the police to methodically comb the neighborhood. and it sounds like from michael isikoff's report, they may have somebody, or suspect to have somebody in an office complex nearby. >> they know who he is at this point. the case is solved in terms of the who. but let me ask you this, given the fact that the suspect who perished had an ied strapped to his chest and the streets apparently are littered with bombs and unexplode devid devic. are there possibilities here that there are others involved and not just these two working together? >> it could be. you leave all options open. there may be more involved. these may be just the two. you've got to take it one step at a time and assume the next guy they're looking for now has access to guns, has access to ieds. don't think for a second -- police officers are trained all the time. when you arrest somebody, you get the first gun, and you continue to search for the second gun. the same rule will apply here. they'll continue to search until they're satisfied that there's no more than these two individuals. >> again, watertown, massachusetts, is ground zero now for the search for the second suspect in the boston marathon bombing. chief timoney, can you hear me? i think he just hung up. that's okay. we'll get him back. again, the two suspects in the boston marathon bombing are now down to one. one perished in a fire fight with police. they actually ran over his body, found his body with an ied strapped to his chest. there was a chase from cambridge where they carjacked somebody, let the person go, all the way to the watertown, massachusetts, as they were throwing bombs out of their car. a massive shootout throughout the night in watertown frightened the neighborhood. the neighborhood terrorized at this point because police are telling them the other suspect, who is still on the loose, is armed and extremely dangerous. they have proven so time and time again since the bombing in boston on monday. we have a statement from m.i.t. an m.i.t. police officer was shot and killed in the line of duty. this happened last night. they say, our thoughts are now with the family. around 2:00 a.m., m.i.t. police determined that the suspect was no longer on campus and that it is safe to resume normal activities. however, m.i.t. police ask that members of their community remain vigilant in the coming hours. m.i.t. is heartbroken by the news that an m.i.t. police officer was shot and killed in the line of duty on thursday night, late last night near building 32 on campus. that, of course, is due to the two suspects who started their rampage there as they were trying to elude police and authorities in light of what they did at the boston marathon, at the finish line of the boston marathon. the fbi and all law enforcement authorities have been culling through pictures. these are them. the man in the white cap is still on the loose as they still continue to elude police. one suspect dead. the suspect on the run in watertown. the latest out of watertown, massachusetts, is that the fbi and police and law enforcement authorities are at this point considering locking down the entire community and adjoining areas and also literally freezing mass transit so they can completely encompass the area and find this guy. here is a sound bite from a witness who watched what happened in watertown as his streets filled with bombs and gunfire through the night. this is andrew. >> i went to the window, and right outside of our apartment there were two shooters in between a sedan and a black mercedes-benz, suv. they were in between these two cars taking cover behind the black, suv, shooting down our street, which is laurel street, and they were shooting westward -- >> all right. this is a briefing right now taking place. let's listen in. massachusetts state police. >> -- all public transportation service on the mbta system, that is buses and subway. so all public transit services through the mbta have been meetly suspended. we are hoping that as we proceed through the next number of hours that we will be able to turn back on portions of the system, but the system has been shut down now as a safety measure. people that are at subway stations or bus stops, we are asking them to go home. we do not want people congregatcongregat congregating and waiting for the system to come back on. so we're asking people, do not go out to the bus stations, subway stations. if you're there, please go home. we also want to speak to the residents and the public within the town of watertown and the cities and towns that are abutting watertown and to be specific we are speaking to the residents of watertown, newton, waltham, belmont, cambridge, and the austin brighton neighborhoods of boston. to those people, we are asking you to stay indoors, stay in your homes for the time being. we are asking businesses in those areas to please cooperate and not open today until we can provide further guidance and information. so again, to repeat, to the residents of watertown, newton, belmont, cambridge, and the austin brighton neighborhoods of boston, we're asking you to stay home, stay indoors. we're asking businesses not to open. we're asking people not to congregate outside. we're asking people not to go to mass transit. and we are hopeful that as the day proceeds that we can provide further guidance, that we'll be able to open portions of the system and be able to ease these restrictions, but we are imposing that now. let me just ask chief, for the town of watertown, is there anything additional -- >> i just want to speak to the town of watertown. we need your help now. we need everybody to shelter in place. no traffic will be allowed in or out. no businesses will be allowed to be opened. the watertown community has always stood strong. we need them to do that today. >> before we take any questions, i need to be clear about this. this situation is grave. we are here to protect public safety in these neighborhoods here in watertown right now. i know that there's national media here from all over the country. i know you have a lot of questions about who these folks are, where they're from. there will be plenty of time to deal with that over the ensuing hours. right now we have to deal with this here. we appreciate your patience. we believe these are the same individuals that were responsible for the bombing on monday at the boston marathon. we believe that they're responsible for the death of an m.i.t. police officer and the shooting of an mbta police officer. this is a very serious situation that we're dealing with. we would appreciate your cooperation. we'll do the best we can to keep you apprised as to how that develops here this morning, but we can't answer every single question about this investigation at this particular point in time. thank you very much. >> we'll be back. we'll let you know as much as possible prior to the next briefing. >> all right. you just heard a plea from the police chief in watertown, massachusetts, as well as law enforcement authorities to stay indoors. businesses should stay closed. do not use mass transits. do not drive in the streets. unprecedented but perhaps the only thing they can do to try and find the second suspect. let's go to nbc's pete williams with more on this. pete? authorities have not released any names. they say they're still trying to positively identify them. they believe that they've been in the u.s. for about a year, that they have some foreign military experience, and the boston police commissioner, ed david, said a short time ago of the man with the white hat, that he believes this man to be a terrorist who has come here to kill people, is the way he put it, mika. >> okay. willie geist joins us. willie, jump in. >> pete, it's willie. as you say, these two suspects believed to have been here as long as a year. do we know in what capacity? were they students? do we know anything about why they've been here? >> presumably students. we don't have the answer to that. they're still trying to tentatively -- they're still waiting to get the positive identification. we don't know the precise nature of what the visa was or how they entered the u.s. >> as you say, a remarkable lockdown here. we're talking about the commuter rail, the t, the subway there, buses. that's people getting in and out of downtown boston. and the western suburbs essentially locked down. nobody allowed outside. newton, watertown, belmont, waltham, cambridge, alton, brighton. all in a state of lockdown. pete, do they have any leads at this point? a guy gets into a car and drives away. they said he fled on foot. did they pursue him at that point? >> he did get away and they were trying to find him. they now believe they know the building where he is. that's their belief. they're not positive about it, but they think they know where he is. because they're not sure, that's why the community is on lockdown. >> so pete, the little that we know, the ied strapped to the suspect who perished, his body, the grenades and explosives that were tossed out of the car window, it seems that this isn't just homemade in the last minute, in the past few weeks, that this is planned. is there any possibility there could be others involved given the amount of explosives that they had? >> possibility, certainly, but no reason to think so that i've heard of. that's obviously one of the things they'll now try to pursue once they get this situation in watertown under control. they will now try to backtrack, look at these men's background. i've heard nothing to indicate others are involved. >> pete, just following your chronology here. robbing the 7-eleven seems to be the moment that set this off. >> yes. >> did the fbi or any local law enforcement have a lead on them between the time they released the photographs and that robbery at 7-eleven? in other words, had they gotten on to their trail, or was it that event that set this all off? >> well, i think two answers to that, willie. one is this whole sequence of events starts because these men took this action tonight. >> right. >> not because the fbi was moving in on them. now, having said that, their names were among people that the fbi was trying to find. there was interest in them. so they were sort of on the fbi's radar. these names are not -- the fact we know as much as we do about them is because they'd already begun to consider them possible suspects. there were others, but these were certainly on their list. >> nbc's pete williams. we'll be checking back with you later. thank you very much. willie geist, this has been an incredible night of astonishing breaking news as the two suspects, which seem to elude police and law enforcement authorities in the moments after the double bombing at the boston marathon, now with all the pictures and the video that they were able to put together, they were able to hone in on these two guys and even hone in on video that showed them watching after the initial bombing attack in boston, which shows just the brazen, sick, atrociousness of their approach to this, that this is -- these guys were on a rampage to do much more. they were armed, dangerous, and you know, the night didn't end without them killing or maiming more people. >> there can be no question now that they had further intent based on what they had with them last night. according to pete's reporting and others, they were throwing explosive devices out the vehicles during the chases. the suspect who eventually died wearing an ied on his body. we don't know where they were headed, what they were about to do. it looks like that was fwathwar. again, there's still one suspect, the gentleman in the white hat, on the run. the western suburbs of boston essentially locked down. the mbta is shutting down until further notice. it's buses, subways, commuter rail. that's people coming in and out this morning of boston. this city is locked down. this is incredibly unusual. this is remarkable. that tells you how dangerous they think this remaining suspect is. >> law enforcement officials just had a news conference a few minutes ago telling people to keep their businesses closed, to stay in their homes, not to drive in the streets, not to use mass transit. then the police chief got to the microphone, and it was a desperate plea. please, please, watertown, just stay home today, lock down, don't talk to anyone unless it's a cop. the fear in watertown is palpable. our prayers are certainly with the people in watertown and the surrounding areas. and our prayers they find this guy as soon as possible. let's go now to nbc news national security analyst michael leiter, who's in washington. michael, we've been gathering information throughout the night. we want to be careful. having said that, it's fairly clear that there were two men on the run who were highly armed and dangerous. one is down. that man had an ied strapped to his body. what are the possibilities that people ought to consider in the watertown area and surrounding towns when they think about this guy on the run in their midst? >> well, as willie said, the fact they're shutting down the entire metropolitan boston transit authority and stopping cars in movement into and out of watertown is almost unprecedented. certainly is in boston. we've done this sort of thing when we had the attempted times square bombing around times square. obviously, on 9/11, shutting down the streets into and out of manhattan. but this really does give a sense of how dangerous the police and the fbi think these individuals are. so in that sense, just be meticulous in following instructions. stay away, stay in your houses. i think this highlights why the fbi was so upset with the leak of information and inappropriate reporting. because they understood how dynamic this was going to continue to be. you know, this is now focused on watertown. over the next 12, 24 hours, there will be other locations where the police find out where they were, other sites searched. so this is very dynamic. >> michael, it's willie. tell us about what's happening right now for law enforcement. they have one suspect dead but one who, based on what he's done in the past, still has to be deemed incredibly dangerous based on the bombings for which he's a suspect on monday and based on what they were carrying in that vehicle with them a few hours ago last night. what does law enforcement suspect he's doing right now? >> first of all, they're trying to get the facts clear as well. reporting from these scenes is going to be incredibly garbled. they're going to do as much forensic analysis as they can. they're going to track the individual. if, in fact, he was international, a student visa, they're going to search records against other people who came into the country when he did. they're going to be doing the same thing with the other individual to try to identify him. they'll go back and look for communications between these two. so this is another threat that they're pulling. they're going to pull on all of these threads over the next several hours. >> all right. it's just about the top of the hour. 6:00 on the east coast. it's been an astonishing night on the east coast. willie geist is here with me in new york as we cover the reports of explosions and a massive gunfight with two men in watertown, massachusetts. it's evolved into a full-on man hunt. it's all
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Apr 16, 2013 10:00am PDT
by our own pete williams that we're talking about two bombs, pressure cookers, loaded with some sort of material in backpacks. >> well actually the news accounts over the last 24 hours have gotten much better as you know. i think that the fbi and the boston police department and the state police have done a good job of sorting some of the early data and getting the information out to the public. i thought the governor's position was very helpful. >> what are you hearing from the white house? what help are you getting from them? >> well, you note that the president in his press conference or at least his remarks, indicated for the first time that it was an act of terror. i think that given the aftermath of the richard jewel situation back in atlanta. that the white house was cautionary, but declaring this is an ak of terror it means it was undertaken in a sophisticated manner. let me say that the place where these two bombs exploded near the lennox hotel, behind the boston public library, on boylston street, it is the apex of where everybody gathers at the end of the marathon. people
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Apr 17, 2013 2:00am PDT
news chief justice correspondent pete williams has the very latest. >> reporter: investigators have begun the process of recovering tiny pieces of the bombs to learn how they were made. they say it appears the devices were assembled inside pressure cooker pots similar to this one, packed with bbs, ball bearings and nails. pressure cookers have been used for decades in terror bombings. instructions for making them appear on the internet, including just last month in an al qaeda magazine "inspire." investigators say the explosion in boston was smokeless powder, gunpowder like this available at sporting goods stores, not something more powerful like dynamite. and they believed they were carried in the scene in dark nylon bags and set off by timers. the area was checked twice for bombs but there was no security screening. >> because there is unrestricted access to the racecourse, simply because it's 28 miles long, people can come and go and bring items in and out. >> reporter: authorities searched the apartment of a foreign student injured in the blast and seen run ago way but they foun
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Apr 16, 2013 11:00am PDT
correspondent pete williams is standing by. i am just reading information that you put in regarding the components of this bomb and what authorities believe was used to make the explosives. what can you tell me? >> they say they were crudely made. that doesn't mean that they weren't powerful and they were. they were made with gunpowder, bbs and ball bearings packed inside a pressure cooker. let me point to a picture from a homeland security bulletin. we're going to get in real tight on these little pots down here. this is what pressure cookers look like. give it a second to focus and see how much tighter we can get. these are what pressure cookers look like in case you haven't seen them. these are rather inexpensive pressure cookers. in case you've not ever dealt with one. a pot with a cover on it that you can make basically air tight and food cooks faster. and then for at least a decade, they've been used to make bombs around the world. so inside is the explosive and the authorities believe it is gunpowder or smokeless powder. all these parts are commonly available. so someone coul
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Apr 18, 2013 3:00am PDT
now, officials say it is not, at least for the moment, a concern. we have much more on that straight ahead. good morning, everyone. it's thursday, april 18th. we have a lot going on this morning. along with joe and me, and toom failed in the senate yesterday and very emotional reaction in washington including a frustrated president obama and show that to you. as a public service, in our opinion, we feel the need to read all of the names of all the senators who voted no on the issue. an issue supported by 90% of americans. we have a three-hour show and take the time to show you all of those names and perhaps a symbolic disconnect between washington, d.c. and the rest of the country. >>> the investigation into the boston bombings. lots of confusion with some media outlets incorrectly reporting an arrest had been made. pete williams is the best inf te business on this stuff with us ahead on the investigation. with us on the set is mark halpern and former governor howard dean and mike barnicle still in boston and in washington, the huffington post, sam stein. first the latest in west texas. i have reports coming in, joe, say the place looks like a lair literally war zone. charles hadlock has the latest. >> as you reported, the briefing ended here. >> reporter: we will have another one at 10:00 a.m. eastern time. here is what we know so far. at least 160 people have been injured in the explosion of a fertilizer plant in west texas. 20 miles north of waco and 80 miles south of dallas/ft. worth. among the fatal casualties are between 5 and 15 and among those are 3 to 5 firefighters and perhaps one law enforcement officer. houses were blocked around this fertilizer plant. i was in kauffman, county, 60 miles away and we could feel it there. the concussion rattled the windows. we thought it was the approaching storms but it turned out it was much worse than that. it was an explosion that killed several people here in town and perhaps dozens more. mika? >> willie? >> willie geist here. is there any suspension whatsoever of criminal element to this at all? i think the officer who just spoke at the press conference defected that a little bit and hadn't seen any sign of that. is there any suspicion or are they looking into that? >> the officers said they want to treat it as a crime scene until they can rule it out it it wasn't a crime and it was, indeed an industrial accident. in fact, texas has a long history of industrial accidents involving anhydrous ammonia dating 66 years ago on april 16th, 1947, thousands of people were killed in texas city which a ship carrying the same type of fertilizer that blew up here exploded on a ship. the ship started fire. people started coming down to the docks to see what was burning. the ship blew up and killed thousands of people but it wasn't over then. a second ship, the high flyer, was right next to it and the next day, it exploded and that explosion was so powerful, it knocked airplanes out of the sky. that was the worst industrial accident in all of last -- the last century and now we have had it again here in west, texas, anhydrous ammonia, a product of fertilizer which is desperately needed here, this is a farming town. this town had a fertilizer plant here to make the fertilizer to put on the crops to grow the crops. unfortunately, they had a fire and fire and fertilizer do not mix. >> nbc charles hadlock, according to investigators on the scene it is still being evacuated. bill karins, let's bring you in and with the latest on the weather. >> two concerns. now on the ground what is in the air and what direction is it blowing in and for the fires that are still burning from the explosion, how are the firefighters dealing with it and trying to put them out? it's a windy night and difficult task for the first responders. here is west, texas, 30 to 35-mile-per-hour winds all night and that is very difficult conditions for the firefighters to fight. there is this cold front coming down and rain and thunderstorms about to move through west texas along with strong thunderstorms. behind it, the winds are going to shift like they did up here in dallas to 40 miles per hour. we just heard in the last press conference they are not really too concerned anywhe more with gases in the air and those are dangerous to first responders and new information we just heard. they are not worried any more what is in the air but getting the fires out from the explosion last night. you can see from the radar the rain is about to begin. it's a small town. one thing i was just looking at is there was a middle school right across the street. right across the street from this explosion and thankfully it happened and everybody cleared out of it. from the sounds it, the school may not exist any more. >> we will learn more as the day goes on. some homes were devastated. bill karins, we will be in touch with you that as well. >>> president obama is set to visit boston later today. authorities have the face, but not the identity of at least one person seen leaving a black bag near the scene of the explosions. they are circulating a photo of a man in a white baseball hat to law enforcement agencies that despite a confusing day of reports yesterday that a suspect had already been arrested. pictures and video from surveillance camera and civilians have helped lead authorities to a person who sat down a heavy duffel bag at the site of the second explosion. authorities have been recovering evidence from the scene from bbs and nails and shrapnel and batteries and wiring to a pressure cooker lid that landed on the top of a nearby building. now they are trying to trace their origin. meanwhile, the boston federal courthouse was evacuated yesterday afternoon. employees were said they were told a code red in effect and ordered to lead and added up to a tense day with no resolution and a lot of conflicting media reports along the way. joe? >> a lot of conflicting media reports yesterday afternoon. many of us began getting the bullet there had been an arrest. that police identified the man that was responsible for the bombing and had taken him into custody and cnn, in fact, broke that and went with that story for some time. then the associated press followed. and other news agencies followed as well. mike barnicle, it was pete williams who went against every instinct in this 24/7 news culture where people seem far more interested in getting it first than getting it right. it was pete williams who kept saying that information is incorrect. and he acted like a news reporter is supposed to act. he actually waited until he got the information and passed it on to everyone else. not an especially good day for journalism yesterday with news outlets messing up on an issue this important to the american people because they are just interested in speed instead of accuracy. >> yeah. i know. it wasn't a good day, joe, for this business. the pressures, of course, are enormous today. the pressures to get things first is e nermnormous, we know. it's now a first, let's get it first! look. we all make mistakes in this business, in every business. i probably lead the league in mistakes in terms of getting things into newspapers and what have you. but the larger issue here is what is going on in the back bay about six blocks from where we sit now out in front of the holy cross cathedral before the president of the united states will be appearing here at 11:00 a.m. this morning. what is going on six blocks from now, is the continual gathering of evidence by forensics teams from the atf, alcohol, tobacco and firearms and the fbi and secret service. they are going to get it right. they are going to get it correct. they don't want to jump into any judgments. they don't want to be wrong when, indeed, they do bring a suspect or suspects into court for arraignment. i think that's the thing to focus on. pete williams focused on that clearly yesterday and he got it right. >> mike barnicle, thank you. we have got another big story that we need to cover this morning so i am going to move on. we will step back into boston for sure throughout the show. but on capitol hill, less than 55% of the senate was willing to back a proposal that poll show supported by roughly 90% of the public. the push for expanded background checks for gun purchases was defeated yesterday in a stinging loss for president obama and, i might add to the script, for the country. and also for the victims of violence who had lobbied congress to reform the nation's laws. >> the yeas are 54 and nays 46. under the previous order requiring 60% for the adoption of this amendment, the amendment is not agreed to. [ screaming ] >> order in the senate! >> in the end, four democrats voted against the toomey/manchin bill that would have extended background check requirements to recover gun sales at gun shows and on the internet. majority leader harry reid also voted no so he could bring the bill to the floor at another time. four republicans broke party ranks to support the measure and there they are. but for president obama and family members of those killed in sandy hook, tucson and all over the country, the vote was incomprehensible. >> action by congress could have saved one person, one child, a few hundred, a few thousand. if it could have prevented those people from losing their lives to gun violence in the future while preserving our second amendment rights, we had an obligation to try! and this legislation met that test. and too many senators failed theirs. this was a pretty shameful day for washington. but this effort is not over. i want to make it clear to the american people, we can still bring about meaningful changes that reduce gun violence, so long as the american people don't give up on them. >> in statement, make mike bloomberg's group said, quote, democrats are quick to blame could is not stand united. republicans so quick to blame democrats for not being tough enough on crime handed criminals a huge victory by preserving their ability to buy guns illegal at gun shows and online and keeping the traffic market well fed. this amendment would have criminalized certain private transfers of firearms between honest sit wecitizens to exerci fundamental right or face prosecution. as we have noted previously, expanding background checks at gun shows or elsewhere will not reduce violent crime or keep our kids safe in their schools. by the way, a new "the washington post"/abc poll show 86% support a law requiring background checks on people buying guns at gun shows or online. so as we toss it to you, joe, to take it to the panel on the front page of "the new york times," it kind of says it all. joe biden with his head in his hands. take it away. >> mika, there's so much to be said here. i think we have to start first let's start with the last thing you read. a statement by chris cox. a man i served with who i've always had great respect for. he's now the lobbyist for the nra. at least when he was in congress, he was considered a reasonable man. his statement was not reasonable. in fact, it wasn't even accurate. in fact, as joe man chin, the author of the bill, said yesterday, anybody that suggested that private gun sales, individual sales from one person to another, a family member or another, a friend to another, would be outlawed or would have to even go through this sort of check is lying. the nra statement is a lie. and i am ashamed of chris cox this morning that he would, for whatever reason, i won't even -- i won't even try to speculate as to why he felt it necessary to lie about what was in this bill. but he did. so the nra, unfortunately, to the very end, from the morning we found out that 20 children were slaughtered and six educators were slaughtered at sandy hook until last night, the nra has acted shamefully, putting out violent video games that 4-year-old kids could play with guns, making horrific statements. the nra is just absolutely behaved shame loessly and they will, of course, pay a cost for this. they will pay it over time. maybe not this year and maybe not next, but they will pay a cost because this battle, mika, is not over. in fact, i got bad news for the senators that were cowarding and running away from reporters who they were asked how they would vote on this bill. i make a guarantee, this fight has just begun and it's going to keep going because there are 90% of us, we are the 90% who believe that we should do everything we can to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists. we should do everything that we can to keep guns out of the hands of violent rapists. we should do everything we can to keep guns out of the hands of gang members. this is very simple. we're just asking for a background check to make sure that the terrorists that are playing tapes and sending them around the world and saying, buy guns in america because their background check system is broken. we want to make sure that they can't do that. we want to frustrate the terrorists and we want to frustrate gang members and we want to frustrate criminals. >> yeah. >> 90%, mika, will not be ignored. and i look at this list and i look at these people that voted no. let's be very clear this morning. they didn't vote the way they wanted to vote. they voted the way the nra wanted them to vote because every one that voted yesterday knows in their heart of hearts after reading this bill that the bill would have made america safer. the bill would have made their state safer from terrorists, from criminals, from gang members. it would have made their community safer. it would have made their neighborhood streets safer. this bill, the president said this bill would only have saved one life. no, this bill would have saved many, many lives. so the american people were insulted yesterday. >> yep. >> and i tell you what, i'm sick and tired of people on capitol hill that i've known for a long time that i've respected, i'm sick and tired of them insulting my intelligence, acting like i am stupid enough and you're stupid enough and 90% of americans are stupid enough to believe that this bill would lead to a national registry! i hear it all the time! hey, the bill itself puts people in jail for up to 15 years. if they keep these names and start a national registry. it's offensive. it's stupid. and, mika, you know what? in the long run, all of those people that voted for a more dangerous america are going to pay at the polls. mark my words. this is going to come up and it's going to hit them in the face. >> i'm going to be taking a look at each and everybody who voted no. we will be putting them up on the screen throughout the show. also just to add to your point, joe. which was so beautifully put. this sums up just how broken d.c. is. this is the one area where this should have passed and then the next thing should have been really tough new mental health laws, regulations, programs that help make the background checks work. instead, we languish in national stupidity over an issue should be black and white. we are not taking guns away. cars need licenses and insurance and things that are dangerous need to be monitored or controlled in our society so they don't get in the hands of criminals. why is this so hard, howard? why? >> i will say put an optimistic spin on this. first of all, i think we should give pat toomey and joe manchin an enormous amount of credit. they are courageous and stood alone and came from conservative states. pat's constituency is very conservative and one of the most conservative people in the senate. joe manchin, west virginia, pro gun state and they stood up and did the right thing. secondly, this is really, i think the end of the civil war and the party. the nra is best terrifying the members of the senate which they did a good job yesterday. we had to go through this to get there. n i think there may be another vote, if not, another bill of some sort but this is -- this is the upheaval in the republican party. this is the attempt of the leadership of the republican party in the form of people like pat toomey to get back to the middle so they can win elections again and nra is very busy recruiting the angry people to them and that is what this is about. i think we had to have this battle. we may have had to lose this battle in order to galvanize the american people to understand how they are being blackmailed by the far right. >> a lot to go through to get anywhere. mark halpern, bring us into the mindset of someone who voted no here? what was the process of thinking before making that vote? >> well, look. it's a complicated issue and yesterday was an emotional day. i don't want to impugn people's motives. a lot of number of republican senators would have voted different had they not been afraid of the consequences. the president and vice president were emotional yesterday and i think they are struggling how to regroup from this. it's hard for me to see another vote any time soon unless they change the bill slightly. >> mark. >> yeah. >> can i ask, how is this a complicated issue? >> yeah. i really want to know. >> you said -- you said it was a complicated issue. as you know, you can go back for six years. i don't impugn people's character for how they vote. i don't judge liberals. i don't judge very conservative people. i know people come from different parts of the country and i always talk about the need to compromise and come together. how is this a complicated vote? it doesn't infringe on anybody's second amendment right and everybody knows that. >> here is why i think it's complicated because, in my career, i don't remember a situation like this where public opinion was so obviously in one direction and there was -- there was public focus on it, white house focus on it, and whatever is in the minds of the republicans and the democrats who voted against it makes this complicated and i don't remember an issue every like this where it was 90/10. >> i don't either. it's complicated because the answer is so simple and it's complicated trying to figure out in the hell people would actually provide the opportunity for terrorists, for gang members, for criminals, for violent rapists to continue to purchase weapons on the internet and gun shows without a background check. willie geist, in my calculation, willie, that's pretty damn simple, if you're interested in keeping america safe instead of keeping your own political seat safe. >> go back a couple of months. this was supposed to be the minimum that the president and the country was going to get on gun control. there was 90% issue. a 90/10 issue. we were talking about an assault weapons ban possibly limiting the size of the magazine clips and whittled down the weeks and months to this background check that seemed logical to 90% of the country and now the president doesn't get that. so you have to wonder with the most powerful man in the world running this, backed by the newtown families. >> backed by lodge k. >> backed by gabby giffords and this put together. >> a lot of law enforcement. >> if you couldn't get over the finish line with the wake of the most horrific gun incident any of us can remember you have to wonder what the future of gun control in this country is, joe. >> absolutely. >> i got to say, mike barnicle, i'm not just saying it. most of the times, i know. when you lose, you lose. i agree with howard dean on this one. we have only begun to fight. this is just the beginning. with every violent act that occurs in the future and with guns being shipped from one gang to another, with terrorists going on the internet advertising how easy it is to kill americans because of our weak background check system, mike, has just begun. this will not end until we have a background check system that keeps our families and americans families safer. >> joe, two points here. one, a lot of analyst and a lot of news reports last evening and this morning are stating that the president suffered a defeat here with the failure yesterday to pass this bill. the president did not suffer a defeat. the american people suffered the defeat yesterday in the united states senate and that leads to the second point. the united states senate is a broken institution. several weeks ago, the vice president of the united states and john lewis stood at the bridge in selma, alabama, commemorating a horrific event there in the 1960s. at that time the united states senate was controlled by democrats. russell long of louisiana and many others. had they been in the united states senate today, had they operated then the way the united states senate operates today, the civil rights legislation of 1964, the voting rights act of 1965 would not have been passed. 50 plus one is a majority. not 60 votes. >> all right. >> you know, mika, i've got to go back to the beginning of this session. there was a lot of talk about filibuster reform. i was out there talking about the need for filibuster reform. for whatever reason, the democrats didn't push. i remember saying it. the day they made the rules to get rid of the filibuster, make 50 plus one pass, if they had made that decision when they set up the senate, then this bill would have passed. i got to say just really quickly. i know we got to go to break, but mark halpern, kelly ayotte of new hampshire. voting against the bill, i don't know that she really helped her cause in new hampshire for re-election, did she? >> west joe look. the way a political price to pay which you're talking about and a lot of these members are not up right away in this cycle will be can they be candidates to run against them in case of the democrats mark pryor? i don't think he'll lose to a republican if you're talking about a political price it means some democrat has to run in a democratic primary saying i'm better to represent the democrats and the people of arkansas than mark pryor because of this vote. >> i will predict this is the end of -- career. governor schweitzer is ahead of him in the polls and bring brian to the race and he'll be the next democratic senator from montana. >> in a retirement? >> yeah, either baucus will retire or lose the primary to switzer. switzer 20-point edge over him. in the democratic primary can you imagine max baucus? montana is a purple state and most people don't recognize that but it is. so that is casualty number one before we even get started. you're absolutely right. this is exactly what is going to happen. >> well, if people are worried about politics, when it comes to political progrenostication, jo you'll get bashed on twitter and people will lash out at you. you're always right about the political ramifications of something. you can always see a step ahead and you're right on this. unfortunately, it seems like some democrats and some republicans in washington are going to learn the hard way. >>> coming up on "morning joe" -- >> you know what? >> yes? >> you don't ignore. you do not ignore 90% of the american people on an issue of public safety. you don't do it. they did it yesterday. and i've got to say, mark it down, this is going to be a turning point in the history of the republican party as well. and let those out there chattering, let them chatter away all they want to and scream like high enas. this party that killed this background check yesterday this party is moving toward extinction. a new republican party will replace it and a vote people will look back on and say that party, that extremism that was unsustainable. >>> coming up, senator joe manchin gives us his reaction to the defeat yesterday of his gun legislation. also senators john mccain and chuck schumer join the conversation and the latest details on the breaking story out of texas where a factory explosion devastating has killed as many as 15 people. several firefighters still missing. more than 160 people injured and they are still looking for more victims. homes have been completely flattened in this blast. let's go straight to bill karins with an update on the weather which is impacting the situation even more there. >> it's going to be tough to get any media in this tiny texas town. i'll show you a map of this west texas town in the fertilizer plant specifically. i was just amazed. it's a tiny town. this is the fertilizer plant on the east side of town and literally has three tanks. this is where the main explosion was. very close to this this is a middle school right across the street. this building here is west haven rest home. west haven nursing home and a little community hospital. we are hearing most of the devastation up to the homes in this vicinity. a map that shows you this little tiny town and the destruction that was done from this fertilizer explosion late last night. we mentioned the winds. they were concerned overthit with what was happening with this explosion, the toxins in the air. now we are not so concerned with that any more. they said the air has been cleared and it's blowing and howling from the south overnight at 30 to 40 miles per hour. the worst part of that was for the firefighters, they had a really difficult time putting out those fires caused by the explosion. it's about to rain in the town right now. they got some thunderstorms that are about to come through. they will also be seeing the winds gusting continually out of the northwest throughout the afternoon. that is the big story in west texas, the little small town that is dealing with such devastation and destruction this morning. more to come on "morning joe." you're watching "morning joe," brewed by starbucks. ♪ i do a lot of research on angie's list before i do any projects on my own. at angie's list, you'll find reviews written by people just like you. i love my contractor, and i am so thankful to angie's list for bringing us together. angie's list -- reviews you can trust. have seen one child fail... to get to the air sickness bag in time. another left his shoes on the plane. his shoes. and a third just simply doesn't want to be here. until now. until right... booking now. planet earth's #1 accommodation site. booking.com booking.yeah [ male announcer ] a car has a rather small rear-view mirror, so we can occasionally glance back at where we've been. it has an enormous windshield so we can look ahead to where we are going. now is always the time to go forward. and reimagine all the possibilities that lie before us. an ally for real possibilities. aarp. find tools and guidance at aarp.org/possibilities. then you'll love lactose-free lactaid® it's 100% real milk that's easy to digest so you can fully enjoy the dairy you love. lactaid®. for 25 years, easy to digest. easy to love. ♪ o say, can you see by the dawn's early light ♪ ♪ what so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming? ♪ ♪ whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight ♪ ♪ o'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming? ♪ ♪ and the rockets' red glare the bombs bursting in air ♪ ♪ gave proof through the night that our flag was still there ♪ ♪ oh, say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave ♪ ♪ o'er the land of the free ♪ ♪ and the home of the brave? ♪ >> what a great scene in boston last night as the crowd at the boston bruins nhl game took over the national anthem after the first couple of seconds. the bruins were playing the sabres in the first professional sporting event in boston since monday's bombings at the marathon and they got an exciting game and we want to show you this because of the way they celebrated afterward. third round after shoot-out. sabres drew stafford slips one in. buffalo got the win but after the game the two teams waving their sticks in the air for the support of the city of boston. see these moments so often. yankees stadium after 9/11 where they get together and recovering a little bit together. >> we will be covering that as well. mike barnicle is in boston covering the story. another big story out of west texas. this morning, rescue workers are still searching for survivors after a massive explosion at a fertilizer plant that rocked the small town of west. last night, the mayor of that town checked everything out on the scene. he just started speaking at a news conference moments ago and gave an update in terms of the situation. it is still a rescue operation. they are still trying to find the possibility of survivors. at this point they have numbers of casualty. the number is expected to grow. more than a hundred people injured. it is a devastating scene and looks like a war zone there as many people who are there are reporting as well. we will be right back with an update on all of these stories. 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[ male announcer ] yes, you could business pro. yes, you could. go national. go like a pro. man: how did i get here? dumb luck? or good decisions? ones i've made. ones we've all made. about marriage. children. money. about tomorrow. here's to good decisions. who matters most to you says the most about you. at massmutual we're owned by our policyowners, and they matter most to us. ready to plan for your family's future? we'll help you get there. how much is too much water? too little? until we got miracle-gro moisture control. it does what basic soils don't by absorbing more water, so it's there when plants need it. with the right soil, >>> tomorrow on "morning joe," former president bill clinton will be with us. up next we bring you the names, all of them, of the senators who voted against common sense yesterday. we will be right back. clemmie's looking for a change from fast food breakfast. you know the average one can cost you over $4 a meal per person? a meal like this costs about $1.64 per serving. a family of four like yours could save over $500 bucks a year. wow. that's amazing! 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[ male announcer ] book ahead and save up to 20 percent at doubletree.com, so you can sit back, relax and enjoy. doubletree by hilton. where the little things mean everything. for those nights when it's more than a bad dream, be ready. for the times you need to double-check the temperature on the thermometer, be ready. for high fever, nothing works faster or lasts longer. be ready with children's motrin. >>> 43 past the hour. we are covering a breaking story in west, texas. we are covering the investigation in boston. we are also covering the incredible story out of washington, d.c. the gun legislation and those who voted no. with us now is mike allen and senior reporter for politico, maggie haberman. bring them on the west wing on gun control, mike. i'll sit back and ask alex to put up the names as we speak of all of those senators who voted know on background checks. to me editorializing the face of cowardness. to the viewer, you can bring your own conclusions but we would like to show everybody's name and face. >> the vote was 54-46. you'll see some of the names. inside the west wing on gun control. just talk about how we got here. obviously the president but a lot of his weight behind this. his own capital and he toured the country with an outside strategy and seemed to have, at least on this issue, the country behind him. how did he fail? >> he did have the country behind him and he did something unusual which he really leaned in to an issue where victory was never guaranteed. we have talked on your air again and again about how hard this would be even how unlikely this would be. but we saw very unusual side of the president yesterday. we are told that he found out the vote, the actual count he was in the situation room for a different briefing. he knew what the whip count was so he wasn't watching c-span. we were told he was glum there but as your viewers have seen, irate by the time he got out to the rose garden. gabby giffords and op-ed in "the new york times" calling herself furious. he didn't use that word. >> serious was the word. >> and talking about democrats. >> correct. >> calling out his own party. >> calling out his own party. you saw in the story we had today in politico a question whether ofa which is the president's reconfigured campaign arm is actually going to target members of his own party. they are going to go after the no votes. their big question has always been would it be democrats? that is still an open question. >> democrats whose names we will be putting up on the screen as well. joe, take it away. >> you look at the democrats and the republicans. the democrats are going to be facing an uphill battle in primary fights. i suspect some will be defeated. and that will change the calculation on gun votes. for those democrats who coward in the corner and were afraid to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists and convicted felonf, they will pay a heavy price. for some maybe in a safe district that won't be touched but those not in the safest district this is key. you don't ignore 90% of what the voting population wants when you're talking about the safety of americans. the safety of our families. the safety of our communities. the safety of our schools. the safety that we feel when we send our kids to malls and churches and college. this is, mike allen, i had said before, you picked it up in the playbook. i just want to be clear. i said this party is heading towards extinction. talking about the 2013 conversion of the republican party. a new republican party, though, is going to come in its place. this sort of extremism is going to be called out by the 90%. we're the 90% and we are going to win. this is just the first bamtings. >> joe, there is one particular excuse from several senators that the white house seemed to be decisive and i'd love to get your view. a couple of senators, both parties, said to the white house we could be with you on guns or immigration or gay marriage. we could be maybe with you on two of those three but three at once is just too much. >> what? what? what? that is the excuse? >> that was the excuse. >> i never looked -- i never looked at a bill and said, well, gee, i'm going to vote against this thing because it's the right thing to do. >> right. >> if you're going to have to choose which bill to follow, it seems to me you follow the bill that, first of all, involves safety. secondly, involves keeping guns out of the hands of terrorists. third involves keeping the guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals. >> yeah. >> and has 90% of the american people behind them. now, this was a group of lawmakers cowarding against a way from the nra. >> okay. >> an organization that supported these background checks just a decade ago and it bears repeating that several, several, sam stein, of these senators that voted against background checks to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists and gang members and violent rapists supported it, not so long ago. >> yeah. there's a bit of flip-flopping going on here, isn't there? one of the things i wanted to return to is what barnicle said in the previous block which is that this is a reality of the senate that we live in. it's a feature. it's not a bug. rural state senators have as much power from senators from very densely populated states. i saw a statistic from "the new york times" and it might have been updated since then. senators who voted for background checks represented something close to 65% of the population so if you had representative diagnosemocracy. not to get lost in the shuffle. this was a complete defeat of the gun policy reforms. federal trafficking statute as uncontroversial as a background check bill and given federal authorities more power to crack down on straw purchases of guns and that went down in defeat. there was clearly a universal problem -- >> that is unbelievable, sam! it is unbelievable that, for some reason, my party is now defining conservative as a promotion of gun trafficking for gang members across america and my party is now, for some reason, embracing criminals and violent offenders. >> and some democrats too. >> and democrats too. being able to purchase guns. democrats have stood showered-to-shoulder than somebody like kelly ayotte in the northeast would have had to follow john mccain and i think would have voted to follow john mccain. if barack obama can just get those democrats lined shoulder-to-shoulder and i think the president needs to get mike bloomberg in to stare at every one of them and say i don't know how powerful you think you are but you're not powerful to withstand the money i will throw in your district. >> i was talking to a bunch of people after the vote what could have been done differently and what could be done differently going forward. basically, the only solution that these people had, including david axelrod, you have to show these people electoral downside of voting this way. i'm interested to see what happens in 2014 how they play in these districts and not just democrats who opposed the bill but who took tough votes who did back background checks. >> good for them. >> we try not to be vitamin rvi this show. we have used the words cowards. i wonder if we show a certain tape we have been showing on this show. mike? >> i think you're right it was the democrats with the fuse of what we saw in the rose garden and we are told that the democrat, that the white house is most disappointed in and maddest at is the freshman center in north dakota, heidi heitkamp. they went to her office to lobby her and very surprised. she was the democrat most in play. the others they short of knew. >> she is not up to re-election next year and why they are so upset about this. bloomberg said his aides saying he will spend money to defeat people and support people who voted in favor of the legislation. >> very quickly. there have been a lot of people trying to project what this means for the rest of the second term for president obama if he is weakened by it. how do you see this impacting other immigration, gretietting kind of a grand bargain on this? >> i think poorly. i think he spends a huge amount of capital and nothing to show for it. i think he cared about this issue and very moved about what he saw in newtown and meeting with these families. i think this is a bad moment for him. >> what if it motivates him? the cool obama is now fiery? >> we will see. >> i'd rather not to get to this point to see that. mike and maggie, thank you so much. so great to have you on the set. >> mika, before we end the hour let's talk about the honor roll yesterday, the people that actually took courageous stands. >> yeah. >> that where it wasn't necessarily easy. >> yes. >> kay hagan and mary landrieu and john mccain coming through in arizona. i wish jeff flake would have followed him. pat toomey and joe manchin a hero. mark kirk and some others made really difficult votes yesterday. if you define difficult by supporting something that 90% of americans do and, apparently, in the united states senate in 2013, that's how difficult is defined. it is sad. it is pathetic. >> that's perfect timing because still ahead on "morning joe," joe, two senators who voted yes on the toomey/manchin background checks bill. senators john mccain and chuck schumer will join us. more "morning joe" when we come back. ♪ . until i had the shingles. i have never encountered such a burning sensation... it was like a red rash. like somebody had set a bag of hot charcoal on my neck. i had no idea it came from chickenpox. it's something you never want to encounter. for more of the inside story, visit shinglesinfo.com and his new boss told him two things -- cook what you love, and save your money. joe doesn't know it yet, but he'll work his way up from busser to waiter to chef before opening a restaurant specializing in fish and game from the great northwest. he'll start investing early, he'll find some good people to help guide him, and he'll set money aside from his first day of work to his last, which isn't rocket science. it's just common sense. from td ameritrade. ♪ >>> coming up next, reverend al sharpton and tina brown join the set and a live report from msnbc justice correspondent pete williams on the latest on the boston bombings. more "morning joe" in a moment. 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[ male announcer ] yes, you could business pro. yes, you could. go national. go like a pro. transit fares! as in the 37 billion transit fares we help collect each year. no? oh, right. you're thinking of the 1.6 million daily customer care interactions xerox handles. or the 900 million health insurance claims we process. so, it's no surprise to you that companies depend on today's xerox for services that simplify how work gets done. which is...pretty much what we've always stood for. with xerox, you're ready for real business. >>> out the window. >> are you serious? >> to hear first responders tell it. some homes and businesses are simply gone. obliterated. this morning, rescue workers are searching for survivors after a massive explosion at a fertilizer plant rocked the small town of west texas last night. at least 160 people injured in the blast. officials have confirmed there have been fatalities anywhere from 5 to 15, who knows. they haven't given an exact total. they can't. between 3 and 5 firefighters are reported missing as well. according to reports the blast could be felt as far as 70 miles an hour and retchinging 2.12 magnitud magnitude. a number of buildings have been damaged or complete destroyed, including a nearby nursing home, apartment complex and dozens of private homes. take a look at this video that tells the story that tells you why they cannot figure out a death toll at this point. the head of emergency response said some buildings are simply gone. initially there was heavy caution over toxic fumes but now officials say it is not, at least for the moment, a concern. it is also being considered, at this point because they just don't know, a crime scene. welcome back to "morning joe." a lot going on morning. we have been talking heated by will the manchin and toomey amendment on background checks which failed yesterday in the senate. very emotional reaction including a clearly frustrated president obama. we will show that to you coming up. as a public service we will scroll the names of the senators, including democrats, who voted no on the issue. an issue supported by 90% of the americans. senator manchin, a really hero in all this, will be joining us in just a moment. sam stein is still with us in washington. joining on the set is editor and chief of "the daily beast" tina brown and host of politics nation and president of the national action network reverend al sharpton. in washington the moderator of "meet the press" david gregory. we will talk about guns in a moment. the big political issue of the day. updates now out of west, texas, because the weather is causing concern as they try to figure out if they can find survivors in all of this. bill karins has a closer look there. >> we have heard all morning they are waiting for first light to help getting around town and rescuing people and going through the buildings. so dangerous and no power. first light is coming now but, at the same time, severe thunderstorms are rolling through so they have an hour or two before the storms are gone. let me get you familiar with the town of west, texas. on i-35 north of waco and south of dallas. it's small. quintessential small midwest town. here is the town itself. this is the northern portion of the town where most of the destruction was done. right-hand side of the screen is where the fertilizer plant was and where the initial fire was. the tanks are on the northern end of this facility. let me show you shall things in town are. the middle school literally located across the street from the fertilizer plant was empty at the time they are reporting thankfully because the blast happened around 6:00 yesterday evening. also a nursing home they were trying to evacuate at the time of the explosion that is literally only two blocks away from the fertilizer plant. so if the blast happened to the north here, obviously, the blast radius goes out from the center here. they are saying most of the northern half of the town is where most of the destruction is and a lot of homes up here on the north are what don't exist any more and have been leveled and where much of the search has been located this morning. overnight major concerns about toxic gases in the air and now we are hear the air is deemed safe for the first responders on the ground. the winds are howling right now and the front and the rain is coming through. you can see the radar behind me. as far as we're concerned and all of our viewers that want to see the pictures and images of the destruction and devastation the helicopters aren't flying so it will be a while before we get pictures of how bad this is. >> we will be following the investigation in boston as they work to find the culprits in the double bombing at the finish line of the boston marathon. they are making some headway there so we will update you on that. >>> first, on capitol hill, less than 55% of the senate was willing to back a proposal that polls show was supported by roughly 90% of the public. for president obama and family members of those killed in sandy hook, tucson, and all over the country, it was hard to believe that lawmakers rejected expanded background checks for gun sales. >> this was a pretty shameful day for washington. but this effort is not over. i want to make it clear to the american people, we can still bring about meaningful changes that reduce gun violence, so long as the american people don't give up on them. action by congress could have saved one person, one child, a few hundred, a few thousand. if it could have prevented those people from losing their lives to gun violence in the future while preserving our second amendment rights, we had an obligation to try! and this legislation met that test. and too many senators failed theirs. >> so democrats who failed the test senator max baucus and senator mark begich and heidi heitkamp and mark pryor. democrats who are so quick to blame republicans for our broken gun laws could not stand united and republicans who are so quick to blame democrats for not being tough enough on crime, handed criminals a huge victory by preserving their ability to buy guns legally at gun shows and online and keeping the gun traffic market well-fed. the nra weighed in in writing saying this. this amendment could have criminalized certain private transfers of firearms between honest citizens requiring lifelong friends and neighbors and family members to get federal government permission to exercise a right or face prosecution. as we noted previously expanding background checks at gun shows will not reduce violent crime or keep kids safe in their schools. joe, i'll let you take it away. alex, just keep putting the names up is what i think we should do. >> mika, this nra -- first of all, mark halpern told me last hour he didn't believe this was the same chris cox i served with in the nra so if that is it, apologies to chris cox from california. regardless who made that statement for the nra or chris cox who made the statement for the nra, we will have it mentioned in a minute, just lied. we are not talking about whether this is a violation of the second amendment. it's not. it's not. but if you're ignorant, if you you've never read a united states supreme court ruling before regarding the second amendment, then maybe you could come to that conclusion just out of sheer ignorance. but what is a lie is part of the statement where he says that the nra is claiming that the manchin/toomey bill would have stopped transfers from individuals in between family members. it's a lie and they know it's a lie, and every person you see up on this screen enabled the nra to continue spreading their lies across america on background checks. >> yeah. >> we are not talking about banning handguns. we are not talking banning semiautomatic weapons. we are not even talking about banning what some people call assault weapons. we are not talking about banning high capacity magazines. the vote yesterday, we were only talking about having background checks to stop gang members, to stop al qaeda members, to stop violent criminals from being able to get weapons online or at gun shows without us, the american people, being able to be assured first that they weren't terrorists. >> yeah. >> or gang members. or rapists. or convicted felons. it is such a simple concept that 90%, such a common sense concept, that 90% of you agreed with me. that this is something that needed to be done. it's such a simple concept that 8 out of 10 gun owners across america believed that background checks made sense. that it made sense. gun owners would say to me, time and time again, hey, you know what? i play by the laws. i play by the rules. and if i'm playing by the rules, then everybody should have to play by the rules. gun shop owners still can't figure out why they have to check to make sure somebody is not a terrorist or a gang member or a criminal. but gun show don't have to do it and people on the internet don't have to do it. this system is so broken. and every name up there that you're seeing that voted no, they have no excuse. they have no good excuse. they come up with these lame feeble excuses because they are cowarding in the corner and they are afraid of the nra their only two excuses is, one, well, you know, this may lead to a national begun registry. that's a lie because joe manchin specifically put in a piece of the bill that if any of these names were held and any registry were started, the person doing it would be is sent to jail for 15 years. it would be a felony. they would throw them in jail and throw away the key. so that's a lie. so when you hear that in the future, just know whoever is telling you that is somebody that you just can't trust. >> right. >> and the second thing you're going to hear is, well, i had to vote against it because that would stop you from handing your gun to your son. that's a lie too. the nra is spreading that lie. they were spreading it yesterday. they will spread it tomorrow. they are an organization this morning built on lies. they are lying to it their own people. they are lying to gun owners. they are lying to americans and guess what? the american people are smart enough, mika, to figure it out in the end and the nra is going to be figured out. they made a horrible mistake yesterday and they are going pay politically for it. they are going to pay. let's go right now to joe manchin. joe, you fought the good fight. a lot of lies out there. a lot of cowards out there. let's start first with the statement the nra put out yesterday where they claim that if somebody voted for your bill, they were trying to stop the transfer of guns from friends to friends. is that true or is that a lie? >> joe, it's not true and you know it's not true. you know this was a bill that was crafted by many people. it was a balanced bill. people were saying that was president obama's bill and you might not like him. this is not president obama's bill. chuck schumer's bill. it wasn't his bill. chuck schumer and president obama at the white house were moving off their position to find common ground. if we could have had other people to move off their position to find common ground. this was a balanced bill that had anybody's input so if they want to blame somebody, blame me. blame me. i try to bring people together to find a common balance because i wanted to protect the second amendment rights and protect a law abiding gun owner like myself. joe, we did that in this. for the nra to say, i know them over there. for the leadership to say this, then what you're saying is trying to stretch that if i sold a gun on the internet to my cousin, then i make a family member. if you got to sell a gun on the internet to your cousin you better check your family relationship. you follow me, joe? that's where we are, buddy, that's where we are. >> it's so stupid. >> it is. >> let me ask you this, joe. what are the chances here? because i think this is going to pass. >> don't you give up. don't you give up. and here is the thing. i know -- i mean, i know your competitive spirit and i know where your mind is right now. and you're going for the juggler now. i know that. these are good people. i've got to sit don ae and i go to work with my colleagues. heidi heitkamp is my friend. i'm tickled to death she is there. i got to get heidi comfortable so the people in north dakota now how good she is and make her feel comfortable we can represent the people. i can't put a hole and leave a hole in a gun show. i'm not going to allow a criminal or an al qaeda terrorist to be able to go to the gun show like he advertised to pick up guns but if there is some language that is uncomfortable i have to work harder to make them comfortable. joe, if the nra didn't score this, would would have had 15 more votes. if the nra just disagrees saying we tried this before and government, you know, government is overreaching. certain areas i can agree with all of those statements but we had a good piece of legislation that would have saved lives. it will save lives. all i'm saying you can agree to disagree and say this is something we wouldn't vote for but we will not let our members choose but when you have to distort the truth, when you have to misrepresent, when you have to really down right say things that aren't in the bill and scare people, that's not the organization that i have known. it's not the organization i have worked with to put the program together in west virginia to teach young people to respect and be safe with firearms. we got to get back, joe, to some kind of a balance here. you can't have the extremes. the right and the left, the far right and far left is not going to govern and cannot. you can't have the tail pwaggin the dog. >> what hero. >> joe, i tell you what, you go and you be nice to the people. let down the american people yesterday and made it easier for terrorists to get guns and try to convince them that they need to be on your side and i'm sure they will. but i'll tell you this. i'm going to come at it from a different vantage point. >> i know you are. >> we need 60 votes. we need to get guns out of the hands of al qaeda members and i think we can get it. >> well, you think about senator -- joe, think about those who voted no on this and you think about that al qaeda tape that talks about how you can get a gun in america is the best place to go, thank you very much, republicans. thank you so much senator max baucus and thank you very much senator mark begich and thank you heidi heitkamp and mark for siding for that videotape. i know you liked it when we showed it on the air, senator manchin, because it really brought home the point. >> i used it on the floor in my speech because i thought it was just so powerful and i aappreciate you all bringing it. it was powerful. let me just say we are going to win this. this is good. this piece of legislation is a balanced piece of legislation that basically protects and keeps people safe. i've said this on the floor. if you want to help veterans be treated with the respect, this bill cleared that up and we give veterans a chance to transition back into a normal life. then this is a good bill. if you want to keep terrorists and you want to keep criminals and you want to keep people mentally adjudicated from being able to walk down to a gun show and buy whatever they want, you're going to like this bill and keep them off the internet. you're going to like this bill. >> yes. senator joe manchin, thank you so much. i know. i know. >> don't give up. don't give up. we are going to pass. don't give it. >> sounds like a football coach. >> but he is right. >> he is right. >> he is right. >> he is right. this is going to pass. it is inevitable. this background checks for al qaeda members, background checks for violent offenders, it will pass. thank you, joe manchin. we greatly appreciate it. >> joining us from capitol hill republican senator from arizona, senator john mccain. senator, you and i don't always agree on everything. but i could hug you this morning. and democratic senator from new york. >> i wish i was there. >> and democrat senator from new york, chuck shumchumer. >> where is my hug? >> you always get one from me. i'm serious. senator mccain what made you decide to vote yes? >> well, i just thought that the bill was appropriate, that t the -- i've always been opposed to to the gun show loophole so i thought it was the right thing to do. >> can i ask you, senator mccain? this vote is probably going to come up again. joe manchin will be working democrats. you certainly have a lot of influence over kelly ayotte in new hampshire. would you encourage her if she could be the deciding vote to support background checks? >> i've never done that in the years i've been here. i talk to kelly. i talk to many of my other colleagues, but it's up to them. they are grown people and they make their own decisions. i've never been one who has gone out and told people what i think they ought to do. i've made my case and let them make up their own minds. >> let's make a turn now to another, if you can believe it, big story that we're following here which is an attempt at a bipartisan immigration plan. senator schumer, if you can give us a sense where we stand there first. >> today the eight of us will officially kick off the campaign for our bill. we will have people from every different segment of the american society standing with us. we will have business and labor. we will have the religious community from the liberals to the evangelicals. we will have some very conservative people like grover norquist ahead of the american liberal community and the head of c.a.p. this bill has a good chance because of the leadership of senator mccain and many others. we have all met in the middle. you know, i know you're dispirited about washington and so am i. >> very. >> i was with gun control for 20 years and the author of the brady bill we need background checks improved on in 1994. but this is an example of washington working. if you would have watched the eight of us in those lengthy long and sometimes contentious meetings in the room. from marco rubio to dick durbin that we had to meet in the middle to get a bill done, it would restore a little bit of your father and now our voyage begins. >> senator mccain? >> well, i'm very pleased at the opportunity to work with chuck schumer and senator menendez and marco rubio and lindsey graham and jeff flake, they have done a great job. i think we have the outline of the proposal that can succeed. i think it's balanced. we have border security as a very important factor, but we also make it possible to have the border secured. it's not an insurmountable object but, most of all it takes them out of the shadows and gives them a chance to live in a free and open society and with a long and difficult path to citizenship but at least it brings them out of the shadows and make them able to become the kind of wonderful citizens that i know that the overwhelming majority of them will be. and i'm proud of the work we have done and it's been frankly for not the first time, the pleasure of working with chuck schumer who is a tough guy. >> he's from brooklyn. >> senator mccain you tried this in 2006 and 2007 and george w. bush was on your side and ted kennedy and that ended disastrously. what has made the difference in 2013? >> i think two things, joe. one, from the practical side. that is, obviously, the polarization of the hispanic vote. fewer and fewer support republicans and we know what the demographics are. that's on the practical side. most importantly, and far more importantly, the american public opinion has changed. if you tell my constituents in arizona that people who are here illegal, in order to become citizens, have a path to citizenship would have to pay back taxes and pay fines, learn english, and get in the become of the line behind those who are come here legally, the majority of our american citizens want that as a way to be the nation that we are. a judo christian principle nation that reaches out and helps those who need the kind of help these people need. they did break our laws by coming here illegal but the fact is now it's time to give them a leg legal status and a tough opportunity but an opportunity to become citizens of this country. >> senators john mccain and chuck schumer, thank you very much, gentlemen. we look forward to seeing you again. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> we will bring our round table next with reverend sharpton and tina brown and mark halpern and david gregory. stay with us. tomorrow's show rahm emmanuel will be with us. and coming up is former attorney general jon ashcroft on the boston terror attacks. with the spark miles card from capital one, bjorn earns unlimited rewards for his small business. take these bags to room 12 please. 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[ crows ] now where's the snooze button? for those nights when it's more than a bad dream, be ready. for the times you need to double-check the temperature on the thermometer, be ready. for high fever, nothing works faster or lasts longer. reasoning. >>> live look at the white house. washington, d.c. another morning. pretty bad morning here on the set of "morning joe." across the country quite frankly. let's get reaction what we have heard in the last block on the round table. reverend al sharpton and tina brown and sam stein and mark halpern and david gregory. i'll try to see the other side of the story so help me out here, david. what is the logic of voting now and let's show the name of all those who voted no as you speak. david? >> i've talked to, mika, republicans on this who have tried to make the case for concerns about implementation of a background check but i think the bottom line here is what we have been talking about and it's pure politics. you know, it's not just the nra but it is indirectly the nra's impact on folks in their home states. republicans were telling me yesterday, look. you should hear the people in my state who didn't want me to vote for it and want the debate to move forward. these are folks who will absolutely vote for this issue in an election. one republican senator said to me i know this is a 90% issue in the public but will those 90% definitely vote on this issue? this person said we will see. we don't know that for sure. i i think it's striking that the nra's public position on all of this was to say, look. if we can do something to prevent the next newtown, we ought to at least try. that's what wayne lapierre said after the newtown tragedy. and his idea was for school safety, for armed guards. indeed, a lot of state legislators have taken that up but when it came to extending what the nra was for in the past background checks, they said, no, no. this gets us down a slippery slope and we are able to have the same impact that they have always had. >> reverend al sharpton, how do i say this as we look at these names and faces? is washington really filled with so many cowards? so many selfish, short-sided politicians who really don't care about leading and only care about winning? how is that? >> i think that is probably about hitting it on the head. they are political cowards. you are talking about people that in the face of newtown, in the face of over 500 deaths of gun violence in chicago, said let's do nothing. you know, mika, i work on the ground with a network. probably not a day someone doesn't come in one of our offices around the country victimized by gun violence or having lost a loved one. what do we tell young people now guns are wrong and don't glorify thug life? what do we tell them you have to have an i.d. to get a beer when you look young but not an i.d. to buy a gun? have courage that members that the 44 members of instant didn't have? this is a disgraceful act. i think joem manchin and pat toomey should be given credit. there will be a price to pay. >> tina brown, my husband is an investigative reporting and covering this issue for years. he leaves one day and goes undercover and comes home with five semiautomatic weapons, lines them up in our house and take pictures to show how's it is to get guns. unbelievable they won't make this process a little harder for people. >> it is really incredible w. when you think about the woman who ran towards jared lee loughner and threw herself on him after he killed six people and wounded gabby giffords and she has the courage to do something like that but this body of cowardly worms don't have the courage to vote against their own self-interest. senator manchin said he is going to sit down with heidi heitkamp. no amount of sweet reason will convince heidi. you have to drive her out with money and hope mike bloomberg can do that with his donations. >> david? >> i think there a little bit more to it than that. because i think that, you know, it's not just money driving out money. i think there has to be thought -- first of all, how sustained will the fight be and that is a question. the president promised to keep going and manchin promised to keep going. i think is there a real possibility that could happen. but i also think how some of these fights get framed is important as well. if public opinion is moving on the idea of additional gun restrictions it seems to me the argument have to be recalibrated as well. why is it that mental health which really does resonate as a problem in these shootings, why was that not made more public and out in front in this debate when it's a critical part of any kind of remedy? the idea that everybody has a role here, why was there so much emphasis on an assault weapons ban and a magazine ban efforts that were tried before and succeeded before but barely and when democrats controlled the house. so i think that is something that needs to be looked at tactically if you want to harness how public opinion will be moving. >> i think we are missing the big picture here. our political system jolts only for massive events and a couple of stats bring that to mind. in 2011, there were 17 u.s. citizens killed in ter rorist attacks. 31,000 plus killed by gun violence. these are happening right now around us. we tend to react viscerally to the terrorist attacks even though they cause the east amount of deaths. we don't have a system geared toward dealing with the problem that is there every day and this that is workplace and gun-related tragedies. >> our thanks to david gregory and tina brown and al sharpton. coming up next, the latest on the town of west, texas. a massive explosion of a fertilizer plant has left multiple dead and many more injured. more m"morning joe" when we com back. 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(announcer) the all-new subaru forester. love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. ♪ >>> here with us now as we cover so many breaking stories today. we also have issues that need to be covered as well. chairman of the faith and freedom coalition ralph reed. great to have you back. >> thanks. >> msnbc capitol hill correspondent luke russert and writer for bloomberg business week elizabeth dwoskin whose latest article is entitled immigration reform may make your job search more tougher. nice. luke, what is the latest on the bipartisan plan and take it to the panel. >> it looks like it's moving forward and marco rubio went out last month and introduced the plan to the country and we have seen what it looks like and i've been watching the show. about guns. these two issues are intertwined. a lot of americans get nervous with these issues. a lot of the reasons why you're seeing these votes on guns yesterday is because republicans understand they have to walk a plank on immigration and they are going to save their powder for that vote as opposed to gun control because immigration might get them new voters as opposed to gun control which is anger shortstop a central part of their coalition. >> by the way, woo yis it going to make our job search tougher? >> if you're a college graduate, if you're in graduate school, there is no question that a couple of years from now, immigration reform, if it passes, it will make your job search tougher. no matter how you slice it we are adding four to five times visas if this bill passes and more checks companies never had to deal with on how to hire those immigrants. now they have to prove to the government they tried to hire an american before which they didn't have to do before, they just had to promise. no matter what if you're on a job search a few years from now it's going to be tougher. >> your take on the bipartisan plan and where the country should go. >> this bill is not perfect. there are some things in there we want to tweak and things we want to improve but we have argued when we relieved our immigration principles on february 5th that immigration reform should be pro family, it should be pro the rule of law and it should secure the border and protect u.s. softvereignty. today we have over a million children and spouses of people who are here legally. these are people who played by the rules. they have a green card. they have a child or a husband or a wife who is waiting in a line, depending upon the country, that could be 10 to 16 years long. i had an employee who was a political refugee from romania. she fled romania and a 10-year-old son she was trying to get into the country and told by dhs it was going to be a six to seven-year wait. that's a childhood. so questionable that that needs to be fixed. this bill does that. it continues family priority but ends moigration. we don't think anybody who hasn't gotten a green card legally should go to the back of the line. if somebody has to go to a criminal background checks and pay a fine and pay back taxes and go to the back of the line, 76% of republicans support them being able to get a green card. >> right. >> we are adding potentially millions of people to this line and the biggest question is, though, how will we clear that backlog? how are we going to unassure these people aren't waiting 16 years? because if you wait 16 years you will come legally. >> i have to cut the segment short because we are going to go back to guns. thank you all very much. >> thank you. >>> before we go to break i want to put up the names of the senators who vote no on the background checks, just put them up, because these are the people that i think disspirited some of us here the most in what is wrong with washington. this is not about president obama. health care, taxes, deficit. we can talk about his leadership. the president can only run this country when he is dealing with leaders. we know these are not leaders now. they are cowards and selfishness and they have lack of leadership that that put us in this position now where they voted against something that 90% of the country supports, first of all. they voted against something that is right for our country and right for our society. and might make our society just a little bit safer. but they voted no. because they are cowards. and they put themselves in a category that, quite frankly, and i hate to see this, but put the themselves in a category that helps people like this, al qaeda terrorists. take a look. >> in the west, you've got a lot at your disposal. let's take america as an example. america is absolutely a wash with easily obtainable firearms. can you go down to a gun show at the local convention center and come away with a fully automatic assault rifle, without a background check, and, most likely without having to show an identification card. so what are you waiting for? clusters of pustules, pimples. i had this shingle rash right next to my spine. the soreness was excruciating. it was impossible to even think about dancing. when you're dancing, your partner is holding you. so, his hand would have been right in the spot that i had the shingles. no tango. no rhumba. you can't be touched. for more of the inside story, visit shinglesinfo.com angie's liat angie's list, i autyou'll find reviews. on everything from home repair to healthcare written by people just like you. if you want to save yourself time and avoid a hassle, go to angie's list. at angie's list, you'll find the right person to do the job you need. and you'll find the right person quickly and easily. i'm busy, busy, busy, busy. thank goodness for angie's list. from roofers to plumbers to dentists and more, angie's list -- reviews you can trust. oh, angie? i have her on speed dial. for those nights when it's more than a bad dream, be ready. for the times you need to double-check the temperature on the thermometer, be ready. for high fever, nothing works faster or lasts longer. be ready with children's motrin. >> live below the line so that others can rise above it. a five-day challenge of living under $1.50 a day supporting the world's most vulnerable people to rise up. are you in? >> that was hugh jackman in an ad for the global poverty project live below the line campaign. here with us now, ceo and co-founder of the global poverty project, hugh evans. i would like to hear about something good that someone is doing. it's good to have you here. let's take a break from all of this bad, bad horrible news. a deep breath from the losers in washington. the cowards. i mean complete fools. seriously. help me out here. >> we all think there's no way we could live off a buck 50 a day. it makes you think i would buy a bunch of crackers so it shows you that you can eat well. >> nuts. >> so is that sort of the point that you obviously know you can't do it so you learn that lesson. for me it goes back to food. you can't eat physical. there's malnutrition and there's this cycle. take us through the number and everything related to the food. >> a couple years ago one of our friends in melvin, australia, was grappling with how can you live on $1.50 a day which is extreme poverty level in the developing world. he challenged himself to do it through a month. through the experience he empathized more and more with the world's poorest people. we decided to make this a global challenge called live below the line to challenge people to live under $1.50 a day. it's kind of like running a marathon for global poverty. every day you do it you get people to sponsor you and money you raise goes to support incredible organizations like the world food program who are on the cutting edge to end extreme poverty in this world. >> one thing about these programs that always strike me, they're good at terms in raising awareness and showing people how difficult it is to live on 1.50 a day. they challenge politicians to live on food stamps for a week and it's hard for them to be able to accomplish that. you raise awareness on this issue. what do you think we in the united states could donate that would translate into action. do we want to teach these individuals who live in extreme poverty better techniques in terms of harvesting things like rice and grain. what is the best type of thing to promote action? >> there's five interventions that will have the biggest impact for the world's poor. you talk about food and agriculture which you touched on. education particularly for women. we're also looking at health and sanitation, water and sanitation and also job creation. these are the sorts of interventions that will have the biggest impact for the world's poor and organizations involved in live below the line campaign addressing those interventions. so opportunity international is at the forefront of providing loans for women in the developing world which is a critical part of poverty alleviation. over 15,000 people did it last year and it raised 3 million for the world's poor. this is making a real impact. >> needed that. thank you, hugh. >> thank you. >> hugh evans. for more information about the global poverty project's campaign, visit livebelowtheline.com. thank you for your contribution to society. thank you so much. >>> still ahead, we're following huge stories this morning. the latest on the boston marathon terror attacks. some headway in the investigation. pete williams has new details coming up in just a few minutes. plus, the search for survivors continues in texas where a factory explosion has killed as many as 15 people. an update on that story next when "morning joe" comes right back. at tyco integrated security, we consider ourselves business optimizers. how? 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beyond it. siemens. answers. >>> live look at new york city. the sun is up. a lot of stories to cover this morning. good morning. it's thursday, april 18th. 8:00 a.m. on the east coast. 5:00 a.m. on the west coast. we have a lot going on including new details on the boston terror attack. following lots of confusion yesterday with some media outlets incorrectly reporting an arrest had been made. we're going to have nbc's pete williams who always has his facts right with us latest. and full reaction to the disappointing example of cowardice in washington with more halperin, howard dean, mike barnicle and sam stein. this morning rescue workers are searching for survivors after a massive explosion last night at a fertilizer plant rocking the small town of west, texas. the blast was caught on camera by a father with his children. >> it should collapse. >> are you serious? >> i really honestly thought we were gone. if you have seen the video first thing i asked her is if she's okay. i was on top of her. i got blasted over on top of her. i thought we were gone. >> at least 160 people were injured in the blast but they are still counting. officials have confirmed there have been fatalities but they really don't know how many. from 5 to 15 maybe more. they have to do a rescue effort and recovery effort in some of the homes and buildings that have been destroyed. between three and five firefighters are reported missing. according to reports from the scene the blast could be felt as far as 70 miles away registering 2.1 magnitude by usgs. the state's resources have been mobilized to assist local authorities. a number of buildings have been damaged or completely destroyed including a nearby nursing home, an apartment complex and dozens of private homes. there was heavy caution about toxic fumes but it's not at least for the moment a concern. the president has been notified. the white house and fema are monitoring the situation this morning. it is being considered a crime scene just because they don't know how this happened. let's bring in nbc meteorologist bill karins with a closer look at the town where this happened and how the weather is impacting in a big way the situation there. bill? >> good morning to you, mika. we hope to have helicopter aerials of the devastation in the small texas town by now but it's raining hard. not safe for helicopters to fly just yet. we'll bring those as soon as we get them on msnbc. let me familiarize you with this small texas town. the town is four blocks wide. this is northern half of town where the worst of the explosion was. this is the fertilizer plant here on the right of your screen. notice it's just open farm fields to the east of that plant. to the west of it and to the north is residential section and populated areas. one good thing if there is anything good that happened out of this, it happened at 7:30, 8:00 local time. the middle school located across the street was pretty much empty at the time we are hearing. that's not the case for the nursing home which is located just to the north of that. you can see it's a very large structure there considering the small size of the town. as far as the devastation going from the blast radius, we hear that the northern portion of the town and blocks to the north of it are homes that may not exist anymore and we'll have you those pictures once we get those air yaair airials. there was no power overnight. now the front has gone through and now the winds are going to shift direction. once we get the rain out of there, then we'll have good daylight and we'll have clearing skies this afternoon. i'm sure there are still rescues ongoing as we speak in that area. we'll have those aerials for you as soon as we get those in. the plant was located just in the northern section of town near a very populated area even for this small town. back to you, mika. >> we have another big story that we need to cover this morning on capitol hill. less than 55% of the senate was willing to back a proposal that polls show is supported by roughly 90% of the public. the push for expanded background checks for gun purchases was defeated yesterday in a stinging loss for president obama and for the country. and also for the victims of violence who had lobbied congress to reform the nation's laws. >> tunder the previous order requiring 60 votes for the adoption of this amendment, the amendment is not agreed to. there will be order in the senate. >> in the end four democrats voted against the toomey-manchin bill that would have covered gun sales at gun shows and on the internet. harry reid also voted no so he could bring the bill for the floor another time. four republicans broke party ranks to support the measure. there they are. for president obama and family members of those killed in sandy hook, tucson and all over the country, the vote was incomprehensible. >> action by congress could have saved one person, one child, a few hundred, a few thousand, if it could have prevented those people from losing their lives to gun violence in the future while preserving our second amendment rights, we had an obligation to try. and this legislation met that test. and too many senators failed theirs. this was a pretty shameful day for washington. this effort is not over. i want to make it clear to the american people, we can still bring about meaningful changes that reduce gun violence so long as the american people don't give up on it. >> in a statement, mayor mike bloomberg's group said democrats who are so quick to blame republicans for our broken gun laws could not stand united. and republicans who are so quick to blame democrats for not being tough enough on crime handed criminals a huge victory by preserving their ability to buy guns illegally at gun shows and online and keeping the illegal trafficking market well fed. the nra also weighed in in writing. this amendment would have criminalized certain private transfers of firearms between honest citizens requiring life-long friends, neighbors and some family members to get federal government permission to exercise a fundamental right or face prosecution. as we have noted previously expanding background checks at gun shows or elsewhere will not reduce violent crime or keep our kids safe in their schools. by the way, a new "the washington post"/abc poll shows 86% support a law requiring background checks on people buying guns at gun shows or online. as we toss it to you, joe, to take it to the panel on the front page of "the new york times" kind of says it all. joe biden with his head in his hands. take it away. >> the nra unfortunately to the very end from the morning we found out that 20 children were slaughtered and six educators were slaughtered at sandy hook until last night, the nra acted shamefully putting out violent video games that 4-year-old kids could play with guns. making horrific statements. the nra is absolutely behaved shamelessly and they will of course pay a cost for this. they'll pay it over time. maybe not this year. maybe not next. they will pay a cost because this battle, mika, is not over. in fact, i've got bad news for the senators that were cowering and running away from reporters when asked how they will vote on this bill, i make a guarantee, this fight has just begun. 90% of us. we are 90% who believe that we should do everything we can to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists. we should do everything that we can to keep guns out of the hands of violent rapists. we should do everything we can to keep guns out of the hands of gang members. this is very simple. we're just asking for a background check to make sure that the terrorists that are playing tapes and sending them around the world and saying buy guns in america because their background check system is broken. we want to make sure they can't do that. we want to frustrate terrorists. we want to frustrate gang members. we want to frustrate criminals. 90%, mika, will not be ignored. i look at this list and i look at these people that voted no. let's be very clear this morning. they didn't vote the way they wanted to vote. they voted the way the nra wanted them to vote because everyone that voted yesterday knows in their heart of hearts after reading this bill that the bill would have made america safer. the bill would have made their state safer from terrorists, from criminals, from gang members. it would have made their communities safer. it would have made their neighborhood streets safer. this bill, the president said this bill would have only saved -- this bill would have saved many, many lives. the american people were insulted yesterday. and i'll tell you what, i'm sick and tired of people on capitol hill that i've known for a long time that i've respected, i'm sick and tired of them insulting my intelligence. acting like i'm stupid enough and you're stupid enough and 90% of americans are stupid enough to believe that this bill would lead to a national registry. i hear it all the time. the bill itself puts people in jail for up to 15 years. if they keep these names and start a national registry. it's offensive. it's stupid. and you know what? in the long run, all of those people that voted for a more dangerous america are going to pay at the polls. mark my words. this is going to come up and it's going to hit them in the face. >> i'm going to be taking a look at each and everybody who voted no. we'll put them up on the screen throughout the show. also, also just to add to your point which was so beautifully put, this sums up how broken d.c. is. this is the one area where this should have passed and then the next thing should have been really tough new mental health laws, regulations, programs that help make the background checks work and instead we languish in national stupidity over an issue that should be black and white. we're not taking guns away. cars need licenses and insurance and regulations. things that are dangerous need to be monitored or controlled in our society so they don't get in the hands of criminals. why is this so hard, howard? why? >> i was going to put an optimistic spin on this. i think we ought to give pat toomey and joe manchin an enormous amount of credit. they come from very conservative states. pat's constituency is very conservative. one of the conservative people in the senate. joe manchin, west virginia, a pro-gun state. they stood up and did the right thing. marks halperin, bring us into the mindset of someone that voted no here. what was the logic? what was the process of thinking before making that vote? >> this is a complicated issue. yesterday was an emotional day. i don't want to impugn people's motives. >> mark, can i ask, how is this a complicated issue? >> i really want to know. you said it was a complicated issue. as you know, you can go back for six years, i don't impugn people's character for how they vote. i don't judge liberals. i don't judge very conservative people. i know people come from different parts of the country. i also talks about the need to compromise and come together. how is this a complicated vote? >> here's why -- >> it doesn't infringe on anybody's second amendment right and everybody knows that. >> this is why i think it's complicated. in my career i don't remember a situation like this where public opinion was so obviously in one direction and there was public focus on it. white house focus on it. and whatever is in the minds of the republicans and the democrats who voted against it, it makes this complicated and like i said, i don't remember an issue like this. >> i don't either. it is complicated because the answer is so simple. it's complicated trying to figure out why in the hell people would actually provide the opportunity for people to continue to purchase guns without a background check. that's simple if you are interested in keeping america safe instead of keeping your own political seat safe. >> this was supposed to be the minimum that they were going to get on gun control. this was 90% issue. 90/10 issue. talking about assault weapons ban limiting the size of magazine clips whittled down and now the coupresident doesn't ge that. the most powerful man in the world running this, backed by newtown families and gabby giffords and power and emotion put together, a lot of law enforcement, if you couldn't get over the finish line in the wake of the most horrific gun violence that any of us can remember, you wonder what the future of gun control is in this country. >>> coming up, pete williams has new details on the bombing in boston. >>> former attorney general john ashcroft with his unique perc t perspective on the investigation. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. oh, he's a fighter alright. since aflac is helping with his expenses while he can't work, he can focus on his recovery. he doesn't have to worry so much about his mortgage, groceries, or even gas bills. kick! kick... feel it! feel it! feel it! nice work! ♪ you got it! you got it! yes! aflac's gonna help take care of his expenses. and us...we're gonna get him back in fighting shape. ♪ [ male announcer ] see what's happening behind the scenes at ducktherapy.com. then you'll love lactose-free lactaid® it's 100% real milk that's easy to digest so you can fully enjoy the dairy you love. lactaid®. for 25 years, easy to digest. easy to love. >>> welcome back to "morning joe." mark halperin here at the table. sam stein is in washington. with us now from washington also, nbc news justice correspondent pete williams with the latest on the boston marathon bombing investigation. pete, what are you hearing? >> it's a very fast moving investigation. they are now looking for two men and this is based on the pictures that they've been able to analyze partly a result of the bonanza of pictures that people have turned in in answer to the fbi's request for pictures and partly from what they are getting from surveillance cameras in the area. the beginning of this was a surveillance camera mounted on a department store across the street and down the block a bit from the second bomb attack. that's the picture you're seeing right now is that second scene. the bomb was placed out near the end of the sidewalk there. and in these pictures they see one young man who has a heavy backpack who sets it down just before the bomb goes off and then dashes away. he's also seen talking on a cell phone. they have two avenues of inquiry here. one is pictures themselves and they have clear pictures of his face and second is the fact he's talking on a cell phone. that allows them to look at cell phone records. they know precisely the time the bomb went off. they can check towers nearby and sort through hundreds of people on the phones at that time and there's another way they can try to get at it. they have pictures showing him talking to another young man so their goal right now is to identify these two people. they don't know who they are. they want to get their names. find out where they may be and talk to them and find out what was going on there. >> mike barnicle in boston. >> pete, i'm curious as to why the release of these pictures. why did the authorities release these pictures? was it to help us recognize them or what was the deal there? >> they haven't released them yet, mike. there have been some pictures out there that we've been unable to verify. a couple officials tried to wave us off of them. as to the question as to why they haven't formally arelearel pictures, they've been debating this since yesterday. agents in the boston area where you are say let's not do that yet. it will add another level of difficulty for us. let's see how we're doing in finding them on their own. i would guess before the next several hours are over, we probably will get a release of these pictures. it seems to be heading that way. i will say this, mike. they have been showing these pictures to law enforcement officials, airports, train stations, subway stations saying be on the lookout for these guys. >> all right. pete williams, thanks. mike, we now have joining us from springfield, missouri, former attorney general john ashcroft. sir, thanks very much for being on the show this morning from your perspective with your experience and your background on all of this, what are we looking for at this point and what concerns you that still remains a mystery? >> well, the first priority here has to be public safety and to guard against any future attacks or follow-on attacks. unfortunately all of us are aware that we're in a critical period of time right now. this week has been not only this week but historically a very difficult time including oak bomb and with the fertilizer explosion last night that we don't know all of the facts about and with the boston situation this is a time when i think we shouldn't rush to any conclusions about whether any events are related or they're not related. and public safety and prevention of additional events ought to be at the top of our understanding. obviously it should also inform the way we handle the investigation. it may be that information is not forthcoming from the law enforcement individuals with their feet on the street because to disclose information might tip-off individuals who are related to or who were involved with those who perpetrated the offenses. we just don't know that. so while we should be full speed ahead on the investigation, there ought to be an element of caution and that element of caution should be guided by the idea of preventing further attacks and public safety involved here. >> general ashcroft, mark here. how would you evaluate the job that officials have done in providing the public with information? >> i think they've done a great job. the problem i have is not with the individuals who have made public statements. i think they have handled this in exactly the right way. i don't have any advice to offer except to those who have leaked information. and what is stunning about what's happened so far is that some of the leaks appear to have been erroneous and when the news industry publishes some erroneous information which was said to have been leaked although it's labeled as a source and not a leaker when it happens, this really complicates things and one of the nuances is public trust is undermined and the public is a big part of dislocation and prevention of terrorists attacks. if the public gets to the place where it doesn't trust what it's hearing or the fact that what is announced can't be -- is not reliable, then that impairs our ability to ask the public and to reap the benefit of the public participating in helping solve these problems. so i believe that the people on the street who are doing the hard work are getting the job done as quickly as possible and dealing with mountains of evidence. the number of photographs and number of cell phones and number of individuals who in some way have something that they might be able to add here is pretty substantial. >> can you imagine, sam stein, how many cameras and cell phone videos and iphones and whatever else were rolling at the finish line of the boston marathon? it would take days and days and days just to organize it all let alone link it together. it's amazing what they're doing. >> that's actually sort of what i want to ask the attorney general about, which is, one, is there such a thing as too much information in which you have an overload of data coming in that becomes almost impossible to pore through all of that stuff and one of the issues that a lot of viewers are having of this crisis is why haven't we had more answers sooner. i'm wondering from your vantage point you've been involved with this stuff, what is timing like for you? are we expecting results too quickly? should we be more tempered with our expectations here? >> i think we should be -- i think our expectation should be there's a professional job done and that if it takes a long time we should be patient. it's very understandable that we all want to know immediately but when you have the kind of mountain of evidence that is coming in, you probably involve yourself in what i would call evidentiary triage. you take what is likely to be the most productive evidence first. you sort it. you go through all of it. you keep going through it until you find the things that not only tell you where to go and provide the leads but you also then look for krcorroborating evidence. it can take time. we ought to be -- you'll never know when something comes to break the case quickly. you'll remember in the ok bomb situation which is a couple decades ago practically, a person leaving the scene, the perpetrator, with a license plate that alerted the police that he was driving on an expired plate. i think that was one of the things that helped apprehend mr. mcveigh. so there are things that appear to be the product of very scientific and organized inspection. there are other things that sometime happen to help you solve things and they just happen. >> attorney general ashcroft, luke russert here in new york. a question for you. in the atlanta bombing eric robert rudolph it took ten years to apprehend him. after ten years it took time to get khalid shaikh mohammed. we live in this world where everything has to be fast. should the american people be expected to wait probably, possibly years before we find out who did this? can the american people wait that long in this era? >> well obviously i think in some respect television conditions us to expect immediate responses. we watch a mystery on tv and at the most an hour intwith ten commercials and everything is solved. people may be conditioned by what they see in fictional world but the real world has to be accepted for what it is. what's acceptable in the national defense system and preventing further tragedies perpetrated on the american public is that we do things properly and we get to truth and justice. sometimes that takes a long time. in the atlanta bombing, which was a very serious event regarding the olympics, it took a long time and frankly when we finally apprehended the individual, there was a lot of fatigue in the system. i think the system outlasted the perpetrator in that situation and we got to a place of justice. >> all right. former attorney general john ashcroft, thank you very much for your insight this morning. >> delight to be with you. thank you very much. keep up the good work. >> thank you. up next, today's business headlines with cnbc's brian shactman. keep it here on "morning joe." i'm with clemmie, who is looking to save to help make ends meet. what if you could save over $500 bucks a year by changing one small thing? yeah, let's do it! let's do it. the average fast food breakfast can run you over $4 a meal per person. i know. walmart has a ton of breakfast options. a meal like this costs about $1.64 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[ male announcer ] save money on a delicious breakfast with kraft american singles and oscar mayer fully cooked bacon with our low price guarantee. walmart. but we can still help you see your big picture. with the fidelity guided portfolio summary, you choose which accounts to track and use fidelity's analytics to spot trends, gain insights, and figure out what you want to do next. all in one place. i'm meredith stoddard and i helped create the fidelity guided portfolio summary. it's one more innovative reason serious investors are choosing fidelity. now get 200 free trades when you open an account. >>> such a depressing list. i'm tweeting the names of everyone that voted down. it's taking a long time. business before the bell now. that's what i've been doing. with cnbc's brian shactman. new job numbers out this morning. >> jobless claims not bad. higher than expected. it's well below 400,000. it's come down off that big number a couple weeks ago. we've been talking about the big news in the world whether it be boston or what happened in texas. it's been a crazy week in the markets. three straight days of triple digit moves. positive today. earnings from verizon and pepsi and morgan stanley. revenues are a challenge but companies are making tons and tons of money in terms of profit right now. i'll give your mobile update. apple fell below $400 a share yesterday. it was as high as 705 in the last year. they have lost more than 200 billion in market capitalization in just a little stretch. the key is people think that the bloom is off the rose and demand is not so great for this product anymore. >> brian shactman, thank you for everything today. stengel is st. we'll show you "time" magazine's list coming up next on "morning joe." 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>> now you put me on the spot. >> coburn voted no. >> obama actually wrote the profile of coburn in "time" 100 issue. >> that's interesting. he might want to take that one back. >> too late now. >> maybe influential makes sense. influential doesn't necessarily mean in a good way. >> exactly right. exactly right. in fact the word actually comes from a mid evil term for what people thought was emanating from the stars that influenced people on earth. part of the idea of "time" 100 list is pairings of one famous person writing about another. obama wrote about tom coburn. hillary clinton wrote about obama. it's interesting that way. >> that's nice. >> how do you do that? that's what i want to know. you call up hillary and say i want you to write a nice blurb. >> there's nothing fancy about it. we think of the list. who should be on it. we think who would be the most interesting person to write about that person? so the egyptian jon stewart is written by jon stewart. they want to do it. it's a happy thing in many cases because many of the people on the list are social entrepreneurs and people doing really good things and three women who have basically allowed newborns with aids to be cured. so they are getting a chance to write about people that are doing something that's valuable and important. >> tell us about the covers. >> so the covers. thank you, mark. there are actually seven different covers in all. if you turn. there's jay-z. this is so old fashioned. jennifer lawrence. elon musk. internationally a couple different ones. these covers will rotate. collect them all. >> they are like nesting dolls. >> they are like nesting dolls. >> you did this a couple years in a row where you had different covers. >> we had different internal covers for person of the year but the main one, president obama was always at the top. on the newsstands these rotate. at the same newsstand you could have jay-z next to jennifer lawrence. >> that's incredible. that should be the cover. >> all of the pictures are by a great photographer who went and shot her in birmingham, innieng. took a day off from school. first formal portrait since the shooting. she's not just a symbol of educating young women. she's a symbol of resilience. what happened to her is what happens to so many people, what's happened to people in boston and her ability to recover. her ability to have her spirits be up and be confident and optimistic is really inspiring. >> okay. and who else is notable on list? >> who else is notable on the list? elon musk i'm a big fan of. he's one of the founders of paypal. he now has this space-x and tesla. there's a lot of entrepreneurs on the list. founders of instagram. founders of kickstarter. there's a bias for people who are doing something new that change the way we live. joe joins us. jump in, joe. >> rand paul is on the list. why is that? >> rand paul and the item is written by sarah palin, joe. and she says that he's the new face of the republican party. i would argue that he's kind of reconciling the libertarian wing and conservative like no one has done before. he's the republican party it boy at the moment. next to you, joe. >> yeah. i think that this morning, rick, might not be the case. so it's hard for you -- you explained that this is like a club. it's got to be hard for you. you do 100 people every year. getting the process and getting 100 people, how difficult that for you to whittle down. >> joe, you're a member of the club. it's not that hard. actually we try to build it up with people doing something new. the women aids doctors. the activists in china and india. to me this is a platform for those folks who are doing great and important work around the world to get a little bit of notoriety in addition to people you would expect to be on the list. it is a list that ranges from poets to statesmen to economists to artists and philosophers and so we try to be-- >> can i break in. mika broke twitter. >> give me examples of someone on the list that's doing great work across the globe and getting on this list has made a difference whether in their civic organization or ministry or efforts to ease suffering across the globe. >> over the years we had a particular emphasis on people, veterans, who are involved in veterans movements and wounded warriors. those guys have been on the list. it always helps people who have these small groups that are trying to do good to be able to say we were on the "time" 100 list. there are many, many examples of that. >> mika? >> joe is on the list. yeah. all right. sorry. i'm just -- this is really insane what's happening here. rick, thank you so much. >> you're very welcome. >> please keep sending your opinions in. you may actually make twitter freeze just like it just happened. i think it will come back. incredible issue. i want that one. i know you have different cover ones. this is the one. the symbol of so many different things that are happening around the world. incredible little girl. rick, thank you very much. up next, we're going to explain why twitter just froze on us. we'll be right back. 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with xerox, you're ready for real business. >>> four months after the newtown tragedy claimed the lives of 20 children and 6 teachers, yesterday 46 senators helped vote down a simple bill on universal background checks choosing the easy political route. kelly o'donnell has more on president obama's reaction and what's next in the gun debate. >> reporter: surrounding the president in the rose garden, the first words about what comes next belonged to the father of a young boy taken in newtown. >> we will always be here because we have no other choice. we are not going away. >> reporter: gabby giffords says many senators chose powerful gun groups over their constituents. >> the gun lobby and its allies willfully lied about the bill. >> reporter: president obama said the bill did not harm gun rights. >> this legislation met that test. too many senators failed theirs. >> shame on you! >> reporter: more anger erupted when a woman shouted at senators "shame on you." most republicans and four democrats from states with high gun ownership voted against expanding background checks. >> criminals do not submit to background checks now. they will not submit to expanded background checks. >> the way to stop violent crime is to stop violent criminals. >> reporter: later today a bipartisan group of senators will roll out immigration reform. democrat senator joe manchin who fought hard to get enough votes on background checks found that with two politically hard votes, some senators chose immigration over guns. >> if you look at it and trying to evaluate, maybe immigration and maybe guns on top of that might be too much for me to go home and explain. >> on these issues, joe, you know what's going to happen. you always say it. you get landbla blasted for it. where do you think this is going? i see a massive, negative response to what's happened here. >> i'll say it here. it is self-indulgent. forgive me. in 2003 i started warning that george w. bush and republicans were spending too much money. in 2004 i wrote a book saying that the deficit and the debt would explode because we were being reckless. i got hammered by conservatives and talk radio hosts who claim to be conservative who said very little to nothing. it's happened time and time and time again. i made the same warnings throughout the campaign back in early september. i was saying that romney was in trouble. you really would have thought that i put on a red jacket and was reading chairman mouse sitting cross legged on my floor dropping acid. the response is always anger to what i say and then of course i end up being proven right. all of the criticisms i made of george w. bush about five years later other conservatives are finally making those criticisms. this is an easy call. this is an easy call. you want to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists. you've got somebody on the top ten terror list by the fbi saying that our background check system will allow terrorists to come and shoot american citizens. you have so many other examples of how this bill could have made a huge difference and yet the republican party almost all in mass and enough democrats were too cowardly to do the right thing and instead they bowed to a special interest group and 7% of the population. the 90% will not forget. this bill is going to pass and there will be people who voted to keep the guns out -- in the hands of criminals and they will lose their next election and there's nothing they can do. thank you. good night and good-bye. >> we should work on the next step and work on the mental health angle and instead we're back at square one and based at the reaction we're getting online right here, i don't know who the people in washington are pandering to. i really don't. >> they are pandering to the 7% and pandering to nra extremist wing. nra members i know want background checks. they like people who play by the rules. they like a safe america. those people are not the nra that did this yesterday. this is the extremist wing. survivalist wing of the nra and they're going to lose. they're 7% of the population. good luck with that 7%. ♪ [ male announcer ] were you more interesting in your twenties, or now? 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MSNBC
Apr 17, 2013 12:00am PDT
intercepted and initially tested positive for the poison, ricen. pete williams will join us with the latest on this story. but first, while we may not know anything about who attacked the boston marathon yesterday or why, just over 24 hours after the explosion, there is a lot of new information tonight about the devices used in the attack. about to exekt from the investigation. there were two explosive devices which exploded yesterday. no more along the route or city of boston. the devices appear to have consists of explosive and shrapnel put into pressure cookers. they have recovered black nylon bags at the sights of both devices. they are believed to have been used to transport the devices to the scene. what happens next is that every single fragment of bomb material recovered from those sites will be sent to an fbi land in quantico, virginia, where they can be analyzed by the fbi and atf experts and even checked for dna. investigators have launched a major push to seek information from the public, including tips on suspicious behavior and photo and video taken around the race. >> the person
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Apr 19, 2013 6:00am PDT
been two reports this morning in the last half hour, pete williams saying that the authorities believe they know where dzhokhar tsarnaev is, the suspect in the white hat is. and concerns about a third relative, which explains the larger drag net, if you will, and why the entire greater boston area was asked to shelter in place. >> it could explain that, chuck, because there's a contradiction there. if they know where he is, why would they shut down the entire city of boston, which they did like less than an hour ago when governor patrick came out here. there's still a lot of unanswered questions here, but, first, i want to point out, chuck. we're right across at the watertown mall right across the street is the main staging area that you were referring to before. and earlier this morning and we've been here for hours now, we saw convoys of military humvees, buses filled with police, motorcycles, state police officers and all congregating in that staging area in the parking lot right behind us. there's a marshal's department store there. it looked to me at first like there was g
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Apr 17, 2013 4:00pm PDT
>> how could they vote against background checks. the six republicans who supported background checks and now changed their mind was it that the changed president and so committed to giving him a defeat you would sacrifice the safety of your constituents? thank you for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. >> hot pursuit. this is "hardball." >> good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. there have been potentially significant developments in the boston terror investigation today amid a lot of conflicting media reports. hoar here's what we know at this time. investigators have obtained video, believe it or not, of a person placing a black bag down at the scene of the second blast and then walking away. the footage came from a surveillance photo at a nearby lord & taylor video. this afternoon, the fbi denied reports from other media outlets that an arrest had been made in the case. well, meanwhile, investigators continued to collect forensic evidence from the attack site as they learn more about the bomb that was used. well, nbc news reported that the bomb's triggering mechanism was fairly sophisticated. it included a battery pack and circuit board, both of which were recovered at the scene. there's no indication at this time of any connection to overseas groups. meanwhile, a devastated defeat in washington for gun safety advocates this afternoon. the u.s. senate has voted down the compromised deal on extended background checks put forth by joe manchin and pat toomey. the vote was 54 for, 46 against. it takes 60 votes to get a bill passed. president obama was joined afterwards by gabby giffords and families of newtown victims and delivered one passionate reaction to today's vote which roughly 40% of the american people believe in something, the senate failed to respond. >> all in all, this was a pretty shameful day for washington. but this effort is not over. >> 90% of the american people support extended background checks and they couldn't get it passed in the representative u.s. senate. >>> let's again with the latest on the investigation up in boston into those bombings. nbc analyst michael leiter was director of the national counterterrorism center and clint van zandt is a profiler. all of this is a key related, battery pack, circuit board, news about the pressure cooker. a piece of it discovered. so much physical evidence and then the picture taken by the video surveillance camera at lord & ta are lo, we've confirmed, it's a picture of someone putting down a black bag, some sort of shopping bag, and then walking away from the bomb site. >> well, it's been a very good day, chris, and it's interesting as we started this before the information came out, the refrain we're hearing is why do we know so little at this point and the fact is, as we've said over and over, it takes time. now, what you just described is two legs or three-legged stool. you've got the forensic evidence from the blast site. that's helping them understand the bomb and how it was made. potentially you can trace things there. the secon leg of that stool is the photographic evidence and videotape which is just invaluable and then the third leg of that stool, which thankfully is not being reported on and we don't know about is the other sensitive information that they are collecting from human sources, from cell phones and the like. those three legs of the stool are what are supporting this investigation as it goes forward. now, the unfortunate media reporting about an arrest that didn't happen today doesn't make their work easier. the fbi has very legitimately begged media and others to just take a deep breath and don't report on some of this until we're getting good word. >> clint, we've been working on here at "hardball" and other programs at msnbc and elsewhere is to look at the physical evidence. and let's start with that first leg of the stool, which michael referred to. this kind of thing that we're looking at here. it being looks like a very badly damaged pressure cooker discovered on the roof. this battery pack, what does that tell you in terms of whether a person placed it there and had time, perhaps a time bomb as we called them. and also the circuit board. what does it all tell you in terms of the way in which someone has careful instructions on how it's built. it can be a very tenacious type of thing. i think the investigators are way ahead. realize, as you've just pointed out, chris, when a bomb goes off, it doesn't just go into cyberspace or disappear into outerspace. these other agencies are available to put this back together. for example, this is a six liter and remote control toys. each of these is a separate and authorities can say who bought this, who bought that, who bought this? and we can pull all of these together. if we can show one person bought, for example, a battery for a model car and that same person's picture appears anywhere in that crowd, that's a good investigative lead that should help the authorities notwithstanding this media fr frenzy that took place today that can do nothing but hurt an investigation. >> the six liters, that's more than a gallon, and it's filled with bbs and nails and the explosive device and explosive material, how much would that weigh in a pressure cooker? >> about 20 pounds. about 20 pounds. you take that pressure cooker. you fill it with black powder, bbs, nails, other types of paraphernalia. you put the detonator and batteries and everything else. you have plus or minus a 20-pound device. we're told at least one of these was a pressure cooker. the other has been described off and on as another pressure cooker or a metal type container. but as you pointed out in your show yesterday, somebody had to carry these 20-pound devices in a bag. this is not a pair of running shoes and a t-shirt. this is a 20-pound bomb that should be apparent seeing somebody lug this down the street. >> well, let me ask you about the material at hand here. if it's a battery pack, does that tell you about the detonating, was it done by a remote control like a model airplane that you can fly around with with a remote control? was it controlled by a garage opener? >> one thing i would say the authorities know, they've recovered and they've recovered the batteries and the wire and it's going to be very obvious the circuitry that was put together and whether that was operated by a cell phone or as you say a garage door opener. of course, a garage door opener is a line of sight. you have to be near that explosive to set it off. a cell phone you could be halfway across the world. so that would be an early part of the investigation. there's a lot of investigation that you simply don't share with the public. you hold that back to use to make sure you've got the right person when you arrest them. >>. >> jonathan, we've got the materials at hand which has been discovered, the pressure cooker, battery pack and circuit board and i didn't mention a piece of black nylon that was part of the bag. >> the best estimate that we have gotten is if they can track this to where they were sold and who purchased them, that's going to lead us to the suspect. we've seen this in previous investigations in the 1993 world trade center bombing. and as a result they caught the suspects m sa suspects. same theory here. that's part of the investigation and pouring all over the videotapes for leads and that one piece of videotape of a suspect putting down a bag outside the lord & taylor or caught on the lord & taylor surveillance tape is another. again, as pete williams and myself have been reporting all day, there is no suspect. there is no arrest. there is no specific name. now, we've been told that there have been several names out there that obviously they would want to run them down but we've been told that it's ruled out. the investigation is ongoing, moving forward. the piece of tape is one of many critical pieces that they are using to try to track suspects but right now no arrests. >> tell me how that's done. you're being looking at a piece of video, you enlarge it, try to improve its fidelity, its picture? what do you do? you look at the wanted posters? how do you identify -- do you look through mug shots? how do you find that person? >> the technology has improved tremendously in terms of facial recognition technology and they are using that matching images on video at the scene to any faces that might be in databases and running that to see if there's any sort of match. another way is, okay, here's an image that we've got. let's go back to others who we know that were at the scene and who were at businesses nearby and show a picture. that would be routine police work that is done. that's many, many aspects and i'm sure there are others that they are not going to talk to us about as they attempt to track down who planted these devices. >> help me here because all the time we're talking about union station or 30th street station in philly or anywhere, there's a big stein and an announcement. why don't they let the people see the person and say, i know this i goo, i know this woman? i assume it's a guy. >> that's part of the debate that's been going on all day today as you look at the mess that went on this afternoon with some of the bad reporting and again i think earlier in the day i think they thought they had a name or a possible i.d., possible and that they have been running that down and i believe they are trying to figure out who is on this tape. >> what do you mean, it didn't match up with a fugitive or a person with a record. how do they know that it didn't match up with anybody? >> they are still working that. they will know whether that is going to help them or not. it could spook the suspect or some of the co-con spor fors if there are any and tip them off and say they know who they are looking for and perhaps flee. >> jonathan, whoever this group is watching now on msnbc, they know there's a picture of this person. they are already as far away as they can get, right? >> you would think so. if you look at the manhunt that was on and images being released in new york and able to catch him over several days. so a bit of a grain of salt with this. they sit there and assess how good the quality of that photo is. they are going to have a news conference later tonight and perhaps explain why and how they are handling these images and when they might be putting some out. >> let me go to michael leiter. there have been reports that have been shot down, some perhaps verified to some extent later on in the week. it may turn out that some of this smoke will lead to fire. we've been hearing about a guy with a baseball cap, hood on top of it, pretty much definitive information. are these stories possibly fleetingly true but they don't add up to anything? how do these stories get out there? do you think there's something there? >> i think, chris, this is a long game of telephone. you know, there are a lot of people involved in this investigation, at the fbi, boston police department, various parts of the u.s. government. but when a lot of people get calls from reporters, even if they are not actually involved, they start talking about what they have heard and then the reporters report something that they have earned and inevitably you get a lot of inconsistencies there. people on the inside are trying to make sure that folks on the outside know that they know something and people on the outside are trying to get a story out and what everybody has to realize is how disruptive this can be to the investigation. we have to remember, we've got a person or people out there who just set off a bomb and killed three people. this is a very dangerous individual or individuals. and the fbi and the police have to do this extremely carefully, so they don't spook the individual, they don't spook the group. so they don't drive this person to more violence, not to mention so they can actually collect evidence so when we ultimately arrest this person, they can be prosecuted. this is a multiple variable equation that the fbi and others have to work through. >> cliff, your thoughts of what they may be doing with this video right now. i'm sure everybody is like me, we're used to crime stoppers, television, perry mason or whatever, we're used to sherlock holmes and when we find out there's a video of a person that looks like they are putting a bag there after last night focusing on the other video here that showed a bag placed between the storm fence and the gutter there and then seeing the pictures afterwards with the fumes coming out of that bag area and then to find out today there's an actual picture from across that same street from lord & taylor's pointing to a person putting a bag there, you've got to see how we're all looking at this, you know? we're wondering, why isn't this galloping towards a conclusion given this information? >> i think it's galloping. i think there's been a lot of information develop. realize, there are 60 different investigative agencies involved in this, possibly somewhere within that came this information today that was erroneous. but the bottom line is, the fbi, the other agencies, if they have not already identified the person or persons of interest, are working very hard to. but there's no need to put that photograph out right now if the investigators can do it. chris, once that photograph is out, it goes viral. remember, the sandy hook shooting at the school when they put out the picture of the shooter's brother and all of a sudden everybody thought he was the shooter. richard jewel at the atlanta park -- olympic park bombing. so the investigators, the if. fbi is going to be very careful and the last thing you want to do is break public trust and put out a picture that had nothing to do with it or like a picture earlier today, they showed a man running from the scene. everybody said, he's the guy. he's the guy. it's just one more victim trying to get away from the explosion. >> well, now we have something hard on the ricin case. just learned this now, pete williams is reporting that two federal officials say a suspect has been arrested in the case of those letters that initially tested positive for ricin. officials identify the subject as kenneth curtis of mississippi and may appear in court later tonight. two letters were intercepted, one to president obama and one to roger wicker. let me go back to you on this, clint. what do you make of this case? there's something about these bombings where they seem to lead to -- it just seems to -- like snakes travel in pairs, we get the ricin case and cases like these. >> he signed the letters, this is kc and i approve this message. that doesn't take a whole lot of heavy lifting to match up this guy whose name you just said in the initial kc. i think it's logical to find out that it's probably not ricin. it's probably another false positive. in this abundance of caution especially because of boston, you have to take these things serious. was there any connection between the two, likely not. >> i think somebody stirs up the nuts in cases like this because we had anthrax last time that got to talk brokaw and the former leader -- i forget his name. >> tom daschle. >> thank you, michael leiter and thank you clint and jonathan. >>> coming up, we're going to talk to deval patrick. we'll be right back. i don't make any decisions about who to hire without going to angie's list first. you'll find reviews on home repair to healthcare written by people just like you. with angie's list, i know who to call, and i know the results will be fantastic. angie's list -- reviews you can trust. >>> a graduate student from china studying mat and statistics, was with two friends at the finish line when the bomb went off. there's a picture of her there. one of those friends was injured in the blast. the third was unharmed. we'll be right back. >>> welcome back to "hardball." i'm joined by governor of massachusetts, deval patrick. governor, how do you see the investigation going this evening now that it's two days after? >> well, chris, it's a large, methodical, careful and professional investigation. we've got every imaginable law enforcement agency at the federal, state, and local level. they are working very, very well together under the leadership of the fbi. it is going to take time. it's a several block crime scene and it's being combed sort of a quarter inch by quarter inch. it's going to be a slow investigation but i think as every hour and day passes, they make progress. >> what do you think is the attitude? you would know it as well as anyone up there, the attitude of the boston people and the massachusetts people about this? do they just feel that they are victims, something bad happened? or is there a sense of anger, if you will, that somebody would do this or a group of would do this? >> well, i think it's a mixture of all of that and more. i think certainly people are shocked, shaken in many, many cases shattered that something like this could happen at a civic ritual like the marathon of which we are so proud and on patriots day, there's frustration that the perpetrators haven't been found but i think people should take the kind of comfort i do from the fact that such a thorough investigation is under way and folks are so purposeful about it and collaborating and cooperating so well. >> you know, one thing i've noticed about people, the younger generation of this court, it's much of more of a get out in the street, get out because maybe public safety is et abouter, even in cities where it's cold sometimes, places like boston, people like to get out of the house. that's not going to change, is it? >> you know what? we waited a long, long time for a day like this today. it's in the 60s, it's sunny. on my way over here from the statehouse, there were people at outdoor cafes. we are not going to go immediately back to the way we were before this happened. as i said, it has a natural and predictable impact on people's way of thinking about their lives here in the city and in the commonwealth but we are a very resilient people and a very determined people and we are not -- i think we also understand that if we are -- if we have our sense of security permanently defeated, that whoever did this will have won. we don't intend to let them win. >> let's talk about the cathedral of the holy cross when you have the president and first lady coming. tell me about what role that is going to play in your city's healing. >> well, chris, that's about helping us all heal. in the conversations i've had all day today, when i've been going to hospitals and talking to medical professionals and talking to families and some of their victims, everyone is looking for a way to acknowledge the grace and kindness that people have experienced and that helps us heal from this and so having an interfaith service is very much to that effect and we're delighted that the president is going to come and bring us some words of comfort. >> well, i think it's great. are you surprised by anything that's happened since this event, in watching the investigation, what has impressed you that we may not have seen on tv? >> you know, i mentioned grace and kindness. there have been so many acts of this that i hear about that don't usually make the news. you know, you saw immediately afterwards the numbers of volunteers who were not necessarily trained medical professionals who ran toward the bomb sites rather than away from it. >> yes. >> who were helping people in need. i've heard from families along the race route who, once the race was stopped, went out and brought in runners, gave them a place and a time to recover, helped them deal with the enormity of what was happening and find their families. there have been so many acts of -- small acts of kindness and i think it reflects so well on our community and those stories need to be told, too, because they also help us heal. >> the wonderful case of the person who put the tourniquet on the person who lost their lives. thank you for joining us tonight. and we'll be right back. the last four hours... have seen one child fail... to get to the air sickness bag in time. another left his shoes on the plane. his shoes. and a third just simply doesn't want to be here. until now. until right... booking now. planet earth's #1 accommodation site. booking.com booking.yeah prego?! but i've been buying ragu for years. 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"united we stand" with logos from both teams. between the third and fourth innings, the yankee fans did what was unthinkable, they sang along to the fenway favorite "sweet caroline." ♪ sweet caroline, good teams never seemed so good ♪ ♪ i've been inclined ♪ to believe there never -- >> that's key to being at the game. anyway, the song was also played at wrigley field, among other ballparks. the milwaukee brewers went a different direction playing the theme song from "cheers," the great sitcom set in a neighborhood bar in boston. part of home was in the dugout. this jersey, look at it there, 617. that's boston's area code and the word "strong." well done. over to late night, stephen colbe colbert -- >> the people who did this obviously did not know the [ bleep ] of boston. they were founded by the pilgrims, of people so tough, they had to buckle their [ bleep ] hats on. a city that made it through the big dig, a construction project that backed up traffic for 16 years. i mean, there are commuters just getting home now. >> new yorkers and boston obviously have a bit of a competition. oftentimes the two cities accusing each other of various levels of suckatude but it is clearly a sibling rivalry and we are your brothers and sisters in this type of event. >> boston native dennis, author of several well-known novels including the boston centric gone baby gone summed it up like this. "two different friends texted me the identical message yesterday. they messed with the wrong city. this wasn't a macho sentiment. the point wasn't how we were going to mass in the coffee shops of the south end to figure out how to retaliate. what a bostonian means when he or she says they messed # with the brong city is you don't think." >> the gun safety advocates lost a big one. the compromised deal, which was a good one, extending background checks go down in defeat. we're going to hear from a very passionate president obama in a few minutes. this is "hardball," the place for politics. all stations come over to mission a for a final go. this is for real this time. step seven point two one two. verify and lock. command is locked. five seconds. three, two, one. standing by for capture. the most innovative software on the planet... dragon is captured. is connecting today's leading companies to places beyond it. siemens. answers. i love to golf. ♪ [ grunts ] yowza! that's why i eat belvita at breakfast. it's made with delicious ingredients and carefully baked to release steady energy that lasts... we are golfing now, buddy! [ grunts ] ...all morning long. i got it! for the win! uno mas! getting closer! belvita breakfast biscuits -- steady energy to do what i do all morning long. >>> welcome back to "hardball." gun safety advocates, people trying to keep guns out of the equally disturbed which you would think would be everyone would have been considered an unimaginable defeat. the u.s. senate has voted down. senator joe manchin and pat toomey put together a bipartisan bill. they hoped it could get past the senate and it didn't. not today. 54 of the 60 votes needed for passage. the message was clear. a minority of senators, mostly republicans, were more afraid and still are of the nra than they are of the roughly 90% of the american who is support background checks. a short time after the vote, the president stood in the rose garden with newtown families surrounding him and fought back against the bill's opponents. >> but instead of supporting this compromise, the gun lobby and its allies willfully lied about the bill. they claimed that it would create some sort of big brother gun registry. even though the bill did the opposite. >> casey uncovers capitol hill on abc news and robert fine man, an msnbc political analyst. kasie, you've been helping me understand which way this is going. it went against the unsafety people. after manchin/toomey went down, assault weapons went down even more so. another vote on gun clips. what did that tell you about a potential future mood on gun safety, the fact that all three went down today? >> reporter: look, this was expected on the assault weapons and the clips but what i find interesting is the vote on the clips. it got six more votes in the senate than the assault weapons ban did and if you look at the folks different on those, it's folks from out west, democrats in colorado and new mexico. colorado, of course, passed a limit on high-capacity magazines. they've seen a lot of gun violence, aurora happened there. i've been talking to some senators up here, democrats who have said that it's this issue that might really come back to bite some of their colleagues over the years. they say that this clips argument like what happened in newtown where the parents are here saying, listen, if this guy had had to reloud more often than he did, more of our children would have been saved, that's an argument that might resonate with americans going forward than the assault weapons ban. >> yeah. i think howard, just intuitively, i'm not a hunter. i've shotguns. >> i think it's easier to get confused about the definition of what is an assault rifle and what isn't. >> yeah. >> but a magazine clip is something that a civilian can understand, so to speak. >> right. >> so i think kasie might be right. the fact that all three of these went down the way did, they won the battles today. it's clear they won battles today and the president is going to moiblize and the newtown families are going to have to mobilize for the long haul, for the 2014 election, they are going to have to get in the ball game the way the nra is. this is the way politics is played today, like it or not. that's what they are going to have to do. it's going to get the president in the midterm election and based on the righteous indignation he showed today. >> the high-water mark for anger about guns and multiround clips and semiautomatics exploited by this crazy person up in newtown should have been the great opportunity to stop the gun crowd and it didn't work. >> i think you're right. and harry reid, even though he volt voted for the assault weapons ban today, he signaled at the very start that it would not fly. >> here's a statement from the nra following the vote on toomey/manchin. it reads in part "this amendment would have criminalized concern private transfers of firearms between honest citizens, requiring lifelong friends, neighbors and some family members to get permission or exercise a fundamental right or face prosecution, as we have noted previously expanding background checks at gun shows or elsewhere. there's due police tea, obviously. kasie, it seems to me, there's two parts to that. both due police tea. one, this bill carefully written by toomey did exclude when you sell it to a friend, that's excluded from a background check. if your buddy across the street wants your gun, give it to your brother-in-law, none of that has to be checked. why do they lie? and let's stick with that one. why did they lie? >> reporter: that's how the president characterized it, of course. there are some sections of this bill where gun advocates say it raises a sector of some problems for transactions for folks. senator joe manchin didn't want to go as far as to call it a lie in an interview he did with me shortly after the vote. but he did say that, listen, if these folks had read my bill, it doesn't do any of the things that they are claiming that it does. so he -- >> it's like the death panels all over again. poison a bill by saying things that are untrue, the big lie again. howard -- >> the big lie was the -- the death panel thing was especially the gun registry. >> gun registry. yeah. and the second part of this says it won't work. please listen to this, it's calling loving something to death. in other words, you don't like a bill but then you say, what i really have a problem with this, it won't go far enough. this lie. it's another -- well, whatever you want to call it -- lie is a strong word. they are clearly saying this won't eliminate all gun violence in america so why bother? >> the president had a good answer. if it can save one life, it could save 100, 1,000 it would be worth doing because it was tailored to achieve a purpose without affecting -- >> why have guardrails on bridges? why have a guardrail? a lot of people don't want to jump off the bridge. the president took on the rand pauls of this world. what a disgusting thing he said to the rush limbaughs. i don't normally have a problem with this guy. he referred to the newtown families lobbying on the hill this way. let's listen. >> i've heard folks say -- >> when i see a father and mothers and them testifying and i know they are coming voluntarily and they want to come and be part of this debate, it still saddens me to see them and i think that in some cases the president has used them as props and that disappoints me. >> here's the president responding to that props line. >> i've heard folks say that having the families of victims lobby for this legislation was somehow misplaced, a problem, somebody called them. emotional blackmail. are they serious? do we really think that thousands of families whose lives have been shattered by gun violence don't have a right to weigh in on this issue? do we think their emotions, their loss is not relevant to this debate? >> kasie, describe if you can what it's like to go around the quarters of capitol hill, the senators, especially, and see these people with the green ribbons. i thought they were very much right to be doing that and they were on their own. they were not brought in by the democratic national committee or anybody. it seems to be odd for a u.s. senator saying we don't like people visiting us on capitol hill who have a particular concern about something. what a strange thing to say for a representative of the people. >> reporter: these folks haven't been saying too much as they have made the rounds here on capitol hill but, you know, quietly when you talk to them in an aside as they've been moving from office to office, they say really this is their initiative. they have representatives with them. they are working with a pr firm, but it's coming from them and they have been extraordinarily powerful spokespeople for themselves. i was in the room when they were talking with manchin last week before the vote and it was them carrying the message. it was the families who introduced him tonight in the rose garden, it was a family member who gave the address on saturday. so the idea that they are not speaking for themselves in this argument is, i think -- has not been the experience for folks up on capitol hill. >> so rand paul spent his day having interviews in people with the i am rand society and heritage foundation and conservative groups and i thinks it's really disturbing for these people to come up to the hill that have lost their kids. >> how dare they be in the galley. how dare they be in the halls of congress. the members find it extremely annoying that there are ebb manies of public around. they would just prefer to have the halls of the capitol -- but to organize in show that it's not the people from newtown. >> you used to be able to go to capitol hill, now you have to go through the tourist entrance. we're not citizens anymore. we're tourists and we can be moved through like a crowd through disneyland. it's rotten. it used to be a democratic country in that way. kasie, thank you with the numbers. i hope we have more positive results in the future. thank you, howard, as always. we'll be right back. everybody has different investment objectives, ideas, goals, appetite for risk. you can't say 'one size fits all'. it doesn't. that's crazy. we're all totally different. ishares core. etf building blocks for your personalized portfolio. find out why 9 out of 10 large professional investors choose ishares for their etfs. ishares by blackrock. call 1-800-ishares for a prospectus, which includes investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. read and consider it carefully before investing. risk includes possible loss of principal. 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[ male announcer ] book ahead and save up to 20 percent at doubletree.com, so you can sit back, relax and enjoy. doubletree by hilton. where the little things mean everything. arrival. with hertz gold plus rewards, you skip the counters, the lines, and the paperwork. zap. it's our fastest and easiest way to get you into your car. it's just another way you'll be traveling at the speed of hertz. >>> we're back. as i said earlier this evening, rarely have i seen this president so passionate and emotional as president obama was this afternoon after the amendment on background checks went down to defeat. remember, this is a minority of the senate rejebting something that an overwhelming majority of americans say they want. an extraordinary speech, i think, by mr. obama and just showing a few seconds doesn't do it justice, so for those who missed it early, catch this. here's more of the president of the united states late today. >> while this compromise didn't contain everything i wanted or everything that these families wanted, it did represent progress. it represented moderation and common sense. that's why 90% of the american people supported it. but instead of supporting this compromise, the gun lobby and its allies willfully lied about the bill. they claimed that it would create some sort of big brother gun registry, even though the bill did the opposite. this legislation, in fact, outlawed any registry, plain and simple, right there in the text. but that didn't matter. and unfortunately, this pattern of spreading untruths about this legislation served a purpose, because those lies upset an intense minority of gun owners and that, in turn, intimidated a lot of senators. and i talked to several of these senators over the past few weeks. and they are all good people. i know all of them were shocked by tragedies like newtown. and i also understand that they come from states that are strongly pro gun and i've consistently said there are regional differences when it comes to guns. and that both sides have to listen to each other. but the fact is, most of these senators could not offer any good reason why we wouldn't want to make it harder for criminals and those with severe mental illnesses to buy a gun. there were no coherent arguments as to why we wouldn't do this. it came down to politics. the worry that that vocal minority of gun owners would come after them in future elections. they worried that the gun lobby would spend a lot of money and paint them at anti second amendment, and, obviously, a lot of republicans have that fear, but democrats had that fear, too. and so they caved to the pressure. and they started looking for an excuse, any excuse, to vote no. one common argument i heard was this legislation wouldn't prevent all future massacres. and that's true. as i said from the start, no single piece of legislation can stop every act of violence and evil. we learned that tragically just two days ago. but if action by congress could have saved one person, one child, a few hundred, a few thousand, if it could have prevented those people from losing their lives to gun violence in the future while preserving our second amendment rights, we had an obligation to try. and this legislation met that test. and too many senators failed theirs. >> that's president obama. boy was that strong. that was a strong reaction to the senate's failure today to pass a measure expanding background checks. we'll be right back after this. 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[ male announcer ] yes, it is, business pro. yes, it is. go national. go like a pro. >>> let me finish tonight with this. you know, i have to say that i am constantly impressed by any nbc colleagues around here, they are generous, factual, and professional. they have the ability to take pains, the strength to resist those competitive pressures to beat the other networks. get it right a tad later is always better than getting it early and wrong, don't you think? because getting it wrong isn't news you can use, is it? and pete williams today, wow, didn't just get it right a tad late, he got it right from the start. and here's my advice, if a dozen reporters are saying "x" and pete says "y," go with "y." he's been the correspondent we wait to hear from because we know what he says is solid or in this imperfect world we live in, as solid as a great reporter can get it. here's to pete and nbc and, of course, us at msnbc for being lucky to have him. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. ♪ >>> good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. thank you for joining us on what is probably simultaneously the most active and the most confusing news day of the year. if you had cable news on tv today, like we did here at 30 rock, or if you were watching your twitter feed or checking in on the internet at all, you saw a lot of r
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get him caught there and talk. >> let's go to pete williams in washington. >> body found in a boat and, as you know, they have sent in the s.w.a.t. teams and the bomb teams i assume as a precaution to make sure that the situation is indeed over but we don't have an identity on the body. we don't know who it is. we don't know whether the body is a result of the shooting. that would seem to be the logical conclusion, though. >> yeah, pete. right where they are in watertown, the charles river takes a kind of dramatic dip to the south. it does widen there but to your point, you're absolutely right. a lot of people have boats on trailers in their yards, not quite the season for that yet. and then again, there's always a lot of activity on the charles river, the scale of this map is too broad to zoom in with any specificity. >> the other thing that stands out to me and i'm sure to you, just looking at the pictures here, they certainly contrast with the pictures that we've seen earlier today, for example outside the house, where everyone was in a tactical position for a long time. this is
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ew businesses, and we're just getting started. to grow or start your business visit thenewny.com >>> as you all know, this whole community has been dealing with a horrific event today. two explosions on boylston street near the finish line of today's boston marathon. >> this is like a bomb explosion that we hear about in baghdad or israel or some other tragic point. >> it was loud. it was really, really loud. and then people just, chaos everywhere. >> i knew immediately it was a bomb. just a puff of smoke, people scrambling. >> everybody was going crazy. at first it almost sounded like a cannon blast. it felt so strong it almost blew my hat off. >> in time of crisis, we come together and we help one another. moments like these, terrible as they are, don't show our weakness. they show our strength. >> make no mistake. we will get to the bottom of this. and we will find out who did this. we'll find out why they did this. any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice. boston is a tough and resilient town. so are its people. >> there are families all around us with kids yelling and screaming. and we just wanted to try to get away as quick as possible. >> we reaffirmed on days like this, there are no republicans or democrats. we are americans, united in concern for our fellow citizens. >> it was 24 hours ago that two bombs exploded right near the finish line at the boston marathon. right now the death toll stabs at three with more than 170 people injured. many of them seriously hurt. the best way to summarize the feeling in boston come from kevin cullen of the "boston globe." he wrote this in an article he called a perfect day turns evil. this is how bad it is. i went out monday night and bumped into some firefighters i know. they said one of the dead was an 8-year-old boy from dorchester who had gone out to hug his dad after he crossed the finish line. the dad walked on. the boy wept back to the sidewalk to join his mom and his little sister and then the bomb went off. the boy was killed. his sister's leg was blown off. his mother was badly injured. that's just one family, one story. that 8-year-old boy from dor chester is martin richard. his family today is asking for prayers and privacy. a vigil will be held for martin and his family tonight. the second person killed has just been identified as 29-year-old krystle campbell of medford, mass. she was reportedly at the finish line as a spectator. we're still waiting on the name of the third victim. and as we wait, there are two main aspects to this story now. what happened and the investigation into what happened. we begin with that. and nbc news justice correspondent pete williams. pete, what do officials know? what are they saying? >> well, consider this interesting fact. i just talked to a person who has done a lot of bomb investigations who says that under normal conditions, it is possible to gather up 93 to 98% of the bomb devices themselves. even though they will be in little pieces and will be all bent up. most of the bombs will not be consumed by the explosion. so they're optimistic that they will have within a fairly short time here, it may take a couple of days, a pretty good idea of exactly how these devices were made. and already they say they have a rough idea of what components were used to make the bombs. unfortunately, these are very common methods. there is nothing that really stands out. they say that the pieces were assembled in a pressure cooker. that there were ball bearings and bbs inside. some kind of gunpowder used as the explosive within a timer to set it off. and placed on the scene in some sort of black sacks. whether they're backpacks or not isn't completely clear. these sorts of bombs have been made for 20 years, unfortunately work just these come opponents. nonetheless, one avenue of the investigation. the second avenue of investigation is asking people for still pictures and video. the response has been amazing. they have and pardon me for using a geeky computer term, three terabytes, three terabytes of video and still. i'm not sure i know how to translate that into how many minutes of video or how many individual still pictures that would be, but needless to say, a huge amount of material and they say they'll look at all of it. they're asking people who are leaving the airport. people who were, who flew into the race. they have people out at the airport asking them if they have any pictures they want to share. they asked repeatedly during this morning's news conference for pictures and stills. obviously they believe that is a very, very important source of evidence for them. they're pushing hard to get pictures. those are some of the main lines right now. >> right now doctors are speaking. let's listen in. >> yes, they have. as a matter of fact, i have been moved and as a matter of fact, really amazed by the result of our patients. i talked to some of them. i talked to the families. they're relevant amazing people. some of them woke up today with no leg. and they told me that they're happy to be alive. they thought as these things happen, they thought they would die as they saw the blood spilling out. they thought they would lose their life right there and then and today as they woke up from surgery and they saw they're not dead, they feel extremely thankful and some of them told me they feel lucky. and it is almost a paradox to see these patients without an extremity to wake up and feel lucky. that talks about our patients. >> how many of them have lost limbs? >> no, no, i stayed away from the discussion at this point. >> how many of them -- >> yes, there are four. >> can you talk a little about the doctors and surgeons' experience dealing with blast injuries? where did they get the experience? >> a lot of us have experience from overseas. some of us in battlefields and some of us in other countries. but we all have experience with the blast injuries. and we have of course extensive experience with traumatic injuries in general. a reminder this is a team dedicated to trauma and takes care of trauma predominantly as the main scope of their surgical practice. >> where was your experience from? some of the others experience? >> i have been in south africa for a long period of time. and another member of our team is actually military surgeon and he has been both in afghanistan and iraq. >> do you have more about the complexity -- about the bombs and how they were made and what they contained? >> i don't think that i have any more information than i gave you this morning. as i said previously, these bombs contained small metallic fragments, more consistent with fragments but other small pieces of metal and also spiked points that resembled nails without heads. so obviously, a mixture of things in there. >> broadly, what are the biggest hurdles your staff is still facing in treating these critical patients? >> i think it is a function of this hospital that it can avail endless resources in the care of the trauma patient. trauma in general is extremely challenging because so many specialties need to be pulled over. trauma surgeons and plastic surgeons and thoracic surgeons and emergency medicine physicians and rehabilitation and trauma psychiatrists and radiologists, you name it. this hospital has the ability to pool all those resources to the trauma patient. the greatest challenge that exists which is to have all these specialties available is really no challenge here. >> since your last update, have federal investigators been able to speak with more of your patients? >> believe it or not, if i'm that giving a report like now, i'm with a patient. so i have no time to speak with federal investigators yet. >> you said there were four. what were you referring to? four amputees? >> exactly. >> are all four of them -- >> yes. >> and the other two in that -- [ inaudible ]. >> they have stepsive wounds and burns. so most of these patients suffered burns, too, from the explosive power of the bomb. and they have extensive wounds from the shrapnel and the metallic objects that tore their skin. >> you mentioned the -- inaudible what types of injuries are you seeing? >> mostly this was for ruptured tim panic memorand iic memorand. was there any other breen? >> that was the reason we send them across to them. we haven't heard feedback in terms of how many have sustain eardrum ruptures. >> in regard to the critical patients, can you walk us through the next 24 hours or so? what are the medical milestones and how lung they're out of the woods? >> the most important thing is hemo dynamic stability. we will be looking for the next few hours, to have all the patients have stable blood pressures and heart beats. to not lose any blood any further. and then obviously for those that are still intoo baited. to now be extu bated. >> you're just listening to an update on the victims being treated at mass general hospital. let's turn back to the investigation and talk to jim walsh, an international security and terrorism expert at m.i.t. let's talk about law enforcement. what are they looking for now? how do they go about this investigation? take us through some of those steps? and within that, we have to start forming some theories. from what we know already, do you think that it is maybe an individual or probably a group and how do you go about figuring out, is this a foreign group or individual, or americans? >> yeah. those are big questions and there are a lot of them. let me start in the beginning and say in terms of the phase of the investigation, i think there are different parts and different parts of the government are handling different parts of the investigation. so obviously, the most important and immediate thing are those events and evidence that are near the attack. that are approximate to the attack. that includes the crime scene. that includes the material used in the bomb and the process of reconstructing what that bomb looked like. it is designed, the materials it used. the nature of the timer that was used. then there is a whole separate line of inquiry at surveillance video that might have been taken in the area. you remember yesterday, and pete referred to this at the top of the hour. that the boston police officials asked if anyone had taken pictures of video to please submit it to the authorities. one of the big differences, i was in front of a camera like this more than a decade ago when 9/11 happened. when we didn't have facebook and we didn't have iphones and camera phones. now, at an event like the boston marathon, you'd better believe that everyone is taking a picture. waiting for a loved one to come across the finish line or shooting video. so my guess is that there is a tremendous wealth of potentially valuable visual evidence that citizens themselves have and can make available to law enforcement. and the nsa and other intelligence organizations will be overseas. looking for chatter. going back through the records to see if there is something they missed. this is a full-court press on several different areas of the investigation by several different law enforcement agencies. >> i want to draw you out on that point. your article talks about that. all the differences in technology from 9/11. pete william was discussing that on our show. the three terabytes of data that they say they have. that's 3 trillion bytes, the library of congress get that over several weeks. in technology circles, what they call crowd sourcing being used to try to take the communal desire to do something and to help catch whoever these perpetrators are. and yet from your experience on these issues, what can they do to speed up that process? that is an enormous amount for investigators to go through. is it not? >> it is. i think if this was just the boston police department, as good as they are, that would be an overwhelming technical matter. because we have the resources of the federal government, i think this is going to be able to be handled a lot easier than it otherwise would have been. it is just a matter of processing it. one of the good things about the age we live in, not only do people have phones that they're taking pictures. there's a the love data embedded in those pictures. time information, other sorts of information about where the mobile phone was. so there is a lot of data. in the electronic and digital age with the full force of the federal government, that is a manageable problem. if you think about it in another domain, completely separate, we have drones that fly all across parts of the world. and they are constantly picking up information. and they have to be processed. this is something the federal government, be it in the defense area or the civilian side, has had to begin to learn to manage. >> are you surprised that the public doesn't have sort of more answers at this point? >> no, no, i'm not. one of the, we were just talking about what's different, what's new from before. and of course, 9/11 is not comparable to what happened yesterday. it was the first event of its kind. a much larger scale. but there are some ways to compare here, right? and one of them is, as an individual who was in boston on 9/11 and in boston yesterday, a different feel to how local authorities are handling this issue. and i don't blame the folks who had 9/11 to deal with. that was horrific and they were having to make it up as we go along. the core thing i'm trying to say here is we have learned. we have learned something. we are better at this than we were ten years ago. all that money, all that training, that all counts. we see investigators and we see politicians come out. and they're calming the public. they're acting with prudence. they're cautioning, saying lets not run off with the first detail. the first clue that we get. i think that's fully appropriate. i would counsel patients, we're going to find the end of the trail. it doesn't have to happen tomorrow. it doesn't have to happen the day after. we will find it. i'm proud of the american people and my fellow bostonians who have held back. and i think are showing restraint and prudence. we don't want to rush off and draw quick conclusions that will come back to back fire us or to lead us off down the wrong investigation path. i'm very proud of how people are handling it and i think we've seen a real change. that's because we've invested in it. we've train on it and we're better at it. >> jim walsh, thank you very much. >>> up next we'll hear from an eyewitness to this tragedy. 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[ coyote howls ] how about no more surprises? now you can get all the online trading tools you need without any surprise fees. ♪ it's not rocket science. it's just common sense. from td ameritrade. >>> the white house flag is at half-staff today as are all american flags. president obama lowering them lowered until saturday night. nbc white house correspondent pete alexander is there. what's the latest? >> reporter: toure, just a matter of moments ago, within the last 20 minutes, we saw the president on the south lawn at the white house continuing with his daily activities. today that included honoring the sprint cup champion. that's a nascar champion for those who aren't familiar with car racing. suffice to say he was well aware of the circumstances, the unique circumstances of this day as a senior administration official said to be moments ago. we are resilient and life goes on. he said specifically, america goes on. here's what the president said a matter of moments ago. >> events have a way of intervening. i know the entire nascar family shares with me just an incredible sense of loss. we mourn the victims. we pray for their loved ones. and rest assured as i said today, we'll continue to say until it gets done, we're going to uncover whoever it is that was responsible for yesterday's cowardly act. we're going to find out why they did it and they will be brought to justice. >> earlier today, of course, we heard from the president and the white house briefing room speaking for the second time in two days, clarifying this time that the white house and the fbi is treating this as an act of terror and as if for an emphasis, we heard now within the last hour or so from janet napolitano and eric holder, the attorney general, both saying this is being treated as an act of terror. the white house wants to make it clear how seriously they take this. >> peter alexander, thanks so much. >> i want to bring in tom busey, president of usa sports media group. he ran the marathon and crossed the finish line moments before the first explosion. if you would, take us back to that scene. you've just finished. you're in this sort of post marathon haze and then what? >> sure. it was the best and the worst, right? an absolutely beautiful day gone tragic. crossing the finish line a couple minutes before the explosion was euphoric, followed by they are or four minutes later, the first of two bombs going off. we were walking around. those who just finished in a days. after 26.5 miles, you're kind of out of it. you're empty. the first bomb took us all a bit by surprise and i think everybody sort of looked around and thought to themselves, what has just happen here? maybe there was the potential for a moment that it was an accident. then the second one assured all of us that it wasn't an accident of the. >> i'm wondering if you can recall at all over the course of the race, how noticeable or the tight security was? we know often time in these big city events, maybe they seal up the mailboxes and the manhole covers and remove the trash cans. did you notice stuff like that or no? >> you know, i go to a lot of events in the job i'm in. as a result, i was pretty aware of what was going. on and i have to say, boston handled this incredibly well top to bottom. they whisked us away from harm immediately. after the explosions occurred. between volunteers and the boston police department and the ems, i don't think anybody could have worked any quicker after the explosion or been any more prepared before, frankly. it is an event where there are bags being strewn all about by people dropping their clothing along the track. it is very, very difficult to police and i think they've done everything they could. >> tom, i wanted to contrast the data we have on incidents of terrorism in the united states. to the fear and pain that people are feeling in boston and really around the nation. according to the global terrorism database, in the decades since 9/11, there were 40% fewer terrorist attacks in the united states than in the decade before 9/11. so broadly speaking, there is some sort of improvement here. and yet, you are there and you've just gone through something that will be a real tragic horror for so many of us for so long and we'll probably crowd out some of the broader trend, that broader improvement. what does it feel like on the ground? do peel feel like we are in another high risk environment given this mass murder? >> i was in manhattan the day of 9/11. so it feels, it felt similar for maybe 10 or 12 hours but it seems like boston is back going about its day. not unlike the way new york kind of recovered as quickly as they did. i think one has to hope that the communicate responds quickly. that they're resilient. i think that the international nature of the boston marathon is helpful in an odd way at this point. people will go back to their countries and be as resilient as we need to be as americans. i think that these people who were engaged in this thing were out here living a purpose driven life. they were raising capital and raising funds for things that mattered to them. they were here for causes and in many instances and i think if the history is any judge, they'll be back to doing that very quickly. >> amen. thank you very much for that. >> up next, why would someone do this? we'll get into that question next. money. that's not much, you think. except it's 2% every year. go to e-trade and find out how much our advice and guidance costs. spoiler alert: it's low. it's guidance on your terms, not ours. e-trade. less for us. more for you. i worked a patrol unit for 17 years in the city of baltimore. when i first started experiencing the pain, it's hard to describe because you have a numbness but yet you have the pain like thousands of needles sticking in your foot. it was progressively getting worse, and at that point, i knew i had to do something. when i went back to my health care professional, that's when she suggested the lyrica. once i started taking the lyrica, the pain started subsiding. [ male announcer ] it's known that diabetes damages nerves. lyrica is fda approved to treat diabetic nerve pain. lyrica is not for everyone. it may cause serious allergic reactions or suicidal thoughts or actions. tell your doctor right away if you have these, new or worsening depression, or unusual changes in mood or behavior. or swelling, trouble breathing, rash, hives, blisters, changes in eye sight including blurry vision, muscle pain with fever, tired feeling, or skin sores from diabetes. common side effects are dizziness, sleepiness, weight gain, and swelling of hands, legs, and feet. don't drink alcohol while taking lyrica. don't drive or use machinery until you know how lyrica affects you. those who've had a drug or alcohol problem may be more likely to misuse lyrica. ask your doctor about lyrica today. it's specific treatment for diabetic nerve pain. to hear more of terry's story, visit lyrica.com. >>> we've spent the last 24 hours barraged the images from the attack. while those images may satisfy many of the basic inquiries, one central question lingers overhead. like smoke above boylston street. why? why would someone do this? to help answer that question, we bring in clint van zandt, former fbi profiler and msnbc analyst adam langford. the author of the myth of martyrdom. what really drives suicide bombers, rampage shooters. let me start with you. from what we know about these types of attacks, are we likely to find a perpetrator or pep traitors who are alive or dead? >> i think in this case, it is pretty clear that these perpetrators wanted to attack and survive. and that may have been one of the main appeals of a place like the boston marathon. for years we've feared that suicide attackers would strike at a sporting event like the super bowl where they would attract a national audience. in this particular case, the benefit of somewhere like the boston marathon is you can slip in. you can plant your bombs and you can slip out. my sense is that these people desperately wanted to survive and they're probably, or the individual is probably somewhere today saying, i hope i got away with it. i hope i can get away. >> clint, i want to talk to you about what the people behind this may have been hoping to benefit in conventional warfare. you're trying to take out the enemy soldiers and capture real estate. in this situation, none of those things are possible or even attempted. so what are they trying to get out of this? obviously some people will say, well, fear. but to what end? just to have us be afraid in general? what is the mentality? >> i think it is all going to wind up with motive. if we look at someone, for example, like eric rudolph, the olympic park bomber at the 1996 atlanta olympics, he was protesting against abortion rights and set off an ied. in his case, pipe bombs. then we saw in january 2011, a white extremist attempted to set off a similar device along a parade route in celebration of martin luther king's birthday in washington state. then we have someone like nadal hasan, the shooter at the military base who killed so many of our troops at the time. so it is going to depend on motive, what they were to do. but by and large, the bottom line is that terrorism is a staining that people climb up on to make a statement. many times they feel disempowered or unable to make a statement. otherwise, whether it is for political, religious, personal, psychological reasons, these are all to be determined by the authorities. but as your other guest is suggesting, i, too, think if this guy wanted to be a suicide bomber, they could have easily accomplished it. instead they wanted to get away. watch their handy craft on tv and take some type of sadistic joy in what they were able to do. >> pick up on that point. is there a difference in mentality, goals, mindset between someone who does want to be a suicide bomber or doesn't plan for an escape, versus someone like this person or persons who seem to at least, have wanted to get away with it and escape. >> yeah. generally speaking, people who plan to attack and then get away with it are psychologically much more normal, more normal than suicide bombers. so they're basically carrying out these reasonably rational attacks to try to have a political effect as opposed to suicide bombers who are really overwhelmed by psychological problems. what that tells us about this kind of attacker is that we can kind of put ourselves in his shoes and say, what would we have been concerned about if we were carrying out this attack? how would we have tried to similarly preserve ourselves to engage in a survival instinct to attack, to get away, and to ultimately make a statement. the interesting thing is this is someone on a stage trying to make a statement and that statement has been lost. we don't know whether they're trying to complain about abortion, about taxes, this did happen on tax day in boston, the place of the tea party. or are they trying to protest foreign wars or something. that statement has been completely lost. >> well, clint, that goes to your point about motive. we know that generally, terrorism is often defined in three ways. acts or threats of violence. intended to communicate fear to a wider audience than only the victims affected. then to motive, a religious or political i am a by the perpetrator. we know that the president and fbi investigators are at this as a terrorist incident. from your experience, when the fbi is actually looking at the profiles, can they at this juncture know for a fact that there is a political or economic or religious motive here? cunning that at this stage? >> i don't think we know it at this stage. we know the device. initially we were told it was a small ied, perhaps like a pipe bomb. which you can get that out of an anarchist's cook book. now we're told it was a pressure cooker filled with explosives. that takes us back to september 1976 when a group of croatian separatists hinged a plane going from new york to chicago to prove they had a bomb on board. they directed the nypd to a locker in grand central that had a similar pressure cooker device. that device unfortunately exploded, killing a bomb tech. we've seen that around a while. we've seen that particular type of device used more from an international perspective where by and large, when we see a strictly domestic u.s.-born terrorist, we look at pipe bombs. i'm not pointing us in one direction or the other. but you have to look at the evidence and say, where is that taking you? while you keep your investigative options wide open. >> okay, clint van zandt and adam lankford. thank you. >>> up next, we'll talk to the boston herald about the significance of the day of the attack. and do you know your... blood type? 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by the barrelful? the carful? how about...by the bowlful? campbell's soups give you nutrition, energy, and can help you keep a healthy weight. campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do. >>> it is a bad day for boston. i think if we pull together, we'll get through it. a lot of people willing to work together to make this a better place for all our people. so as we gather here today, with all our officials, let's say boston will overcome. >> that from tom menino. for two decades, he checked himself out of the hospital with a broken leg to take care of the city. it was supposed to be the most joyful day of the year in boston. patriots day. instead, as the cover of the boston herald characterized it today, terror at the finish line. shelly cohen lives in the neighborhood where the blast happened. in a moving editorial today called monday, the day boston lost its innocence. thanks so much for being with us. i wanted to start with a quote that struck me from your piece. you said in the years post 9/11, we've grown contemptuous of the host of silly rule and regulations design to give the appearance of keeping us safe. when we know in our hearts that there is no such thing as safe anymore. by all accounts, all the rules and protocol were followed yesterday. do you feel more contemptuous than ever of those rules or do you feel like we need to pay more attention to them now? >> well, i think we will be in the usual vicious cycle. we will put up with them again. we will have our bags searched when we're going into the subway station again. until we get tired of that. and we get contemptuous of that again. because it is all for show. that's all we had yesterday. there were the bomb sniffing dogs. they happened to be sniffing on the wrong side of the street. and so we will never actually be safe unless we want to do things like other countries have done. like israel has done. if we want to have armed guards at every t-station for the rest our natural days. if we want to have armed guards in front of hotels and restaurants and nightclubs. we can probably be safe or at least safer. we're americans. we're bostonians. we're not going to put up with that for very long. >> powerful words, shelly. let's talk about the past a little bit. i grew up in boston and i remember how patriots day was always special. the schools and the businesses would close. the sox would play at 11:00. the marathon would go off. it was sort of a city wide party in a big city with a small town feel. explain to people who have not experienced that, how important patriots day is to the city. >> it is. it is in fact a weekend long block party. it starts on friday with the closures of dartmouth street just down the road from me. there are families coming into town just for the sports expo to see the other runners who come from all over the world. i ran along the river on saturday with some kenyans. i kept up with them for about five and a half seconds. and it is fun. and it is very much a family event. that's what's so very tragic about this. everyone knows that. those who were here to disrupt it took advantage of that family feel. everybody, every runner always knows what it is like to turn that corner on to boylston street and just see nothing but the finish line ahead of you and family cheering you on along the sidelines. thousands of people. it is a beautiful thing. that was taken away from us yesterday. it won't be taken away from us forever though. >> absolutely. and shelly, i know, i get the sense new yorkers are sort of unfortunately, braced for this kind of thing at all times. i get the same sense when i go to d.c. there's just the sense that that kind of attack could happen at any time. having grown up in boston, it seems another world down there. boston seems small and insulated and precious, as you put it, innocent. in their wildest dream, could bostonians conceive, could they imagine this sort of thing happening during the boston marathon on a day like yesterday? >> well, no, in fact, if we had a target that we fear the most, it would be july 4th when half a million people gather by the river for a concert. so do we think we could be a target? yes, i think we're not so naive as to think we could never be targeted. but this other day that used to belong uniquely to us, marathon, patriots day, it was all ours. and that is the saddest part of all. i loved your word precious. yes, we do feel a bit of that. it is just that no one is safe all the time. >> you know, shelly, this particular incident and murder has been reported out live. it's been record with a lot of rumors and photos and live videos and short video clips on one of the new video services called vine, for example. people were replaying these on a loop. we have an obligation to tell this story even if it involves a murderous attack on the united states and our citizens. on the other hand, as you know, there is a lot of really important questions about how to do that right. are you concerned being from the neighborhood and in the city, about just how many photos and videos have been live, shared without context? >> not too dreadfully. i was a teacher of journalism and sometimes teach and guest lecture at classes. i'm more concerned about what students pick up along the way. there was always that danger among the naive. most people especially in this community can sort the good from the bad, the real from the not so real. the social media was used fairly well yesterday when i know our website went down for a time. the "boston globe's" website went down for a time simply because of the traffic. and everyone went to twitter accounts, which was a good thing. there is nothing new about a lot of garbage being out on the net. that's a universal problem. i'm not sure this is any worse than any other day. we'll get through that piece of it, too. >> all right. thank you so much for being with us. >> good to be with you. welcome to my neighborhood again. >> thank you. >>> up next, the first responders. if not for the incredible response by the city of boston, this could have been even worse. we went out and asked people a simple question: how old is the oldest person you've known? we gave people a sticker and had them show us. we learned a lot of us have known someone who's lived well into their 90s. and that's a great thing. but even though we're living longer, one thing that hasn't changed: the official retirement age. ♪ the question is how do you make sure you have the money you need to enjoy all of these years. ♪ to enjoy all of these years. given way to sleeping. tossing and turning have where sleepless nights yield to restful sleep, and lunesta eszopiclone can help you get there, like it has for so many people before. do not take lunesta if you are allergic to anything in it. when taking lunesta, don't drive or operate machinery until you feel fully awake. walking, eating, driving or engaging in other activities while asleep without remembering it the next day have been reported. lunesta should not be taken together with alcohol. abnormal behaviors may include aggressiveness, agitation, hallucinations or confusion. in depressed patients, worsening of depression, including risk of suicide, may occur. alcohol may increase these risks. allergic reactions such as tongue or throat swelling occur rarely and may be fatal. side effects may include unpleasant taste, headache, dizziness and morning drowsiness. ask your doctor if lunesta is right for you. then find out how to get lunesta for as low as $15 at lunesta.com there's a land of restful sleep, we can help you go there, on the wings of lunesta. plays a key role throughout our lives. one a day women's 50+ is a complete multivitamin designed for women's health concerns as we age. it has 7 antioxidants to support cell health. one a day 50+. that's a good thing, but it doesn't cover everything. only about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you. so consider an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. like all standardized medicare supplement plans, they help save you up to thousands in out-of-pocket costs. call today to request a free decision guide. with these types of plans, you'll be able to visit any doctor or hospital that accepts medicare patients... plus, there are no networks, and you'll never need a referral to see a specialist. join the millions who have already enrolled in the only medicare supplement insurance plans endorsed by aarp... and provided by unitedhealthcare insurance company, which has over 30 years of experience behind it. with all the good years ahead, look for the experience and commitment to go the distance with you. call now to request your free decision guide. >>> the sidewalk volunteers instead of running away, they stopped and helped people. when the boston athletic association volunteers came, they came with supplies. once you got into the medical tent, it's all an e.r. physician could ask for, there are cots, and physicians. >> amid the horror, we're hearing stories of courage and compassion. officials are saying the quick response to the blast not only saved lives, but helped preserve what remains an active crime scene. joining us now from washington, dr. irwin, expert on disaster preparedness. he organized medical response teams in the immediate aftermath of the world trade center attacks on 9/11. thanks for being here. >> thank you. >> we're very hearing stories, for examples of dr. natalie savis who was running in the marathon and then after the attack went in and was allowed by police and first responders to make a makeshift tourniquets and treat people on the scene. how in this kind of crisis does the first responder team deal with also all of the people who want to help? >> well, actually it is a very common reality which is that right after a disaster the first responders, actually whoever is on the scene are on the scene, it may be bystanders. they're fortunate to have really great medical personnel on scene. the whole system actually worked amazingly well given the medical complexity of what was happening and the tragedy. but there are chaos, but in the chaos, we saw heroism and very effective people coming to the fore and doing what they had to do and they were backed up, by the way, by a highly organized and highly competent health care system. so then the ambulances came. the patients were distributed in the various hospitals in the city. and everything proceeded as well as it possibly could under the circumstances. so all of that was good, but the role of bystanders and first responders can't be understated. >> doctor, take us on sort of a human level to that moment as a first responder. ari was just mentioning a togetherer w erdoctor who just finished running a marathon and was call in to help out with the scene and did tremendous work. other civilians who also just finished this marathon. you know, i have to imagine that adrenaline kicks in. what is it like on a human level at that moment? >> well, you know, there's kind of different categories of how people react. some people are paralyzed and don't really function very well, but in this case, as is often the case, many people actually stimulated by the adrenaline but a lot of people have been, you know, aware of the fact that bad things could happen at any given moment. there's been a sort of a cultural understanding now in the united states and around the world that something could happen at any moment. i think a lot of people are very situationally aware. the reaction in a crisis like this really, you know, is able to bring out the best in people. and i think that's exactly what we witnessed in boston yesterday. it was quite, quite remarkable. people putting on tourniquets. this reminds me to say, it's really important people understand some of the basic principles of cpr and first aid. it's one of the things we're encouraging. i run the national center for disaster preparedness at columbia and we're promoting all citizens should "a" remain situationally aware of their environments at all times, but "b" really try to develop the skills that would allow them to help out in the event of an emergency. so there are big roles for citizens these days, and citizens who are aware and have their own competencies are really an important and helpful adjunct to the official first responders, the police, the fire, ems and so forth. but all these things seem to work in tandem and work quite well yesterday, thankfully. >> yeah. doctor, some of the victims were incredibly lucky in one sense which is that paramedics were already lined up on the street to deal with marathon runners. and, of course, the hospitals in boston, well aware, were very close and some of the best in the world. how many lives were saved by those sort of happenstance circumstances? >> many, many lives were saved because of that reality you mentioned. there was a half marathon in new york a couple weeks ago. my son who's an emergency physician in new york was running one of the first aid medical stations and all they really expect, generally, in those kind of events is, you know, injuries, exhaustion, maybe some would have chest pain. but nobody would actually expect this kind of chaos and disaster. but like i said earlier, there was a really quite a tremendous, you know, people doing what they had to do and really saving a lot of lives. i would dozens of people were probably saved by prompt highly competent effective work done by bystanders, with and without medical training, but particularly the very good fortune of having, you know, nurses and docs around. by the way, in a city that has some of the best medical facilities in the world. so there were some fortunate aspects, slight silver linings in this terrible cloud that was represented by this bombing yesterday in boston. >> dr. redlener, thanks for helping us understand the emergency response yesterday. >> sure. my pleasure. >> absolutely. >>> we'll have more after this. ♪ [ acoustic guitar: upbeat ] [ dog ] we found it together. on a walk, walk, walk. love to walk. yeah, we found that wonderful thing. and you smiled. and threw it. and i decided i would never, ever leave it anywhere. because that wonderful, bouncy, roll-around thing... had made you play. and that... had made you smile. [ announcer ] beneful. play. it's good for you. oh, hey. using night-vision goggles to keep an eye on my spicy buffalo wheat thins to make sure nobody touches them. who's gonna take your wheat thins? um, i don't know. an intruder, the dog, bigfoot, ted from next door. hey, could you get the light? i love you. [ loud crash ] what is going on?! honey, i was close! it's a yeti! ted! check it out! a yeti! [ male announcer ] must! have! wheat thins! >>> okay. that does it for "the cycle." thomas roberts is in for martin and picks up our coverage from here. thomas? >> hi, guys. good afternoon, everybody, i'm thomas martin. martin is on assignment. tuesday april the 16th, a day from which authorities from across america descended to hunt down person or per
MSNBC
Apr 17, 2013 5:00pm PDT
and here's my advice, if a dozen reporters are saying "x" and pete says "y," go with "y." he's been the correspondent we wait to hear from because we know what he says is solid or in this imperfect world we live in, as solid as a great reporter can get it. here's to pete and nbc and, of course, us at msnbc for being lucky to have him. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. ♪ >>> good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. thank you for joining us on what is probably simultaneously the most active and the most confusing news day of the year. if you had cable news on tv today, like we did here at 30 rock, or if you were watching your twitter feed or checking in on the internet at all, you saw a lot of reporting thrown around that did not make a lot of sense. so, we're going to try to make sense of it all right now. here's what we actually know. here's the confirmed reporting on the boston marathon bombing case right now. nbc news has learned that investigators have obtained video of a person placing a black bag down near the scene of the blast and that authorities are looking to question that person. the footage has been described to nbc as providing, quote, solid leads in the case. as we told you last night, the fbi found black nylon bag fragments at the blast site and believe that's how the devices were transported to the scene, they've also recovered pieces of the pressure cooker bombs and the press has received official fbi photos of those fragments. we can also report tonight on the identity of the third fatality victim, she was a chinese citizen and grad student of mathematics and statistics at boston university. she was an only child and her parents had declined interview requests because, quote, every time we speak about this, it is like a dagger in our hearts. she was watching the marathon with two other students, one was injured in the explosion and is in stable condition. there are still about 60 people in boston hospitals who were injured, 12 still in critical condition. okay, now, if you had the misfortune of watching those developments that i just recited play out in realtime today, you may well have just lost the thread entirely on the day's events, because this, this is what it looked like in realtime. >> this is cnn breaking news. >> an arrest has been made, both federal source and my boston source say an arrest has been made. >> federal law enforcement source tells me that an arrest has been made. >> federal source tells her an arrest has been made. >> a suspect is about to be arrested. the suspect is to be taken into custody by federal marshals and taken to a courthouse. that tells us a lot, that tells us they've got him. >> one arrest, this vague description of brown skin, whether foreign or domestic. >> and now it is being told to fox news -- to a fox news reporter, indeed, an arrest has been made. >> according to the a.p., the suspect has been taken by u.s. marshals to a federal courthouse. >> we are being told by our foxnews.com reporter that an arrest has been made. >> take a half a step back, this has accelerated incredibly quickly. >> some are reporting an arrest has been made and some are reporting that's not the case. here's the truth, we don't know. >> conflicting reports about an arrest. tom? >> i have actually three separate sources, but two that are very highly placed and close to the investigation that have just told me that there's been no arrest. >> okay, now, that would be, you know, we don't know what's right or not right at this point. as anderson always says, you don't want to go down the road of speculation wrongfully. >> no arrests have been made in connection with the boston marathon bombings and that's all we can say for sure. >> let's take a moment to appreciate the evolution of bad journalism at work here. first, cnn has the big breaking news, arrest made in bombings case. by 2:17 p.m., as the pushback has begun to roll it, they are maybe doubting themselves, it's just breaking news with no further description. something somewhere is breaking, america, we just can't tell you what it is. then around 2:30, the breaking news is conflicting reports on bomb arrest. yes, conflicting because cnn is reporting something that conflicts with what is actually happening in the world. finally, at 2:43, they report the justice department says no arrest has been made. notice, though, they are still counting that as breaking news. breaking news, the breaking news we've been bringing you for the past hour is totally and completely bogus. this wasn't just some abstraction happening on cable news that no one was paying attention to, and i understand people make mistakes, but the bungling of the story today mattered. this is video outside the courthouse in boston after all that frenzied, inaccurate reporting this afternoon, a crowd has gathered. to be sure, a lot of these people are reporters and media folks, but they are people who show up in hopes of seeing a suspect brought in. among them were likely anguished, angry people whose city has just been through a terrible trauma who wanted to see with their own eyes someone suspected of being responsible for it, a suspect who would not even exist yet but were told by the news was already in custody. and the one thing people knew about the suspect, the only thing they thought they knew for sure, thanks to cnn's reporting was the following descriptor. >> it was described to me as a dark-skinned male individual. >> i was told by a source that was a law enforcement official that this was a dark-skinned male. source had been briefed on the investigation, i should say, that the suspect was a dark-skinned male. >> forget about the fact that cnn got wrong the information they said they had. just explain to me precisely what news value exists in the adjective "dark skinned." what exactly that's newsworthy is communicated in that phrase, a dark-skinned individual could be my swartier italian relatives or the ethiopian that won the boston marathon before it was bombed on monday and everyone in between. no, that's not the purpose of that phrase. that phrase is not there to convey journalism. what dark skinned indicates is aha, all you folks who thought it was a bad muslim who did this, you were right. because, of course, let's be honest, that is the sub text that says all of this. but our job, our job in the media is not to flatter those knee-jerk presumptions for the sake of momentary tutlation, it's to wrestle that to the ground and get the facts right. so, let's go back to what we do know about the investigation at this hour and for that let's go to nbc news justice correspondent pete williams. pete, thank you very much and thank you for getting things right today. i want to ask you what we do know about how the investigation's developed and how you would characterize the progress that is being made, given there was no arrest today, there is no single identified suspect, but nevertheless, it does seem like the last 24 hours have been quite good from the standpoint of progressing through this investigation. >> well, i think they consider it very promising, and here's the reason. they've been asking for pictures, they have what they believe are pretty important pictures that show from several different angles a young man at the second -- at the scene of the second bombing talking on a cell phone, setting down a backpack, and then dashing away just before that bomb explodes. they don't know who it is. they have a good look at that person, and they are eager to do three things, figure out who that person is, find them, and talk to them. and we are told they haven't done any of those things yet, but there are several angles that they are working to try to figure out the identity of that person. the fact that the person was talking on a cell phone is important, because they can now try to go back to cell phone records and look at probably thousands of people who are on their cell phone at that time and start to work through that. so, they've got the picture, they've got the cell phones, and they can start now to work back and see if they can look at other pictures now and trace the movement of that person through the crowd, through all the pictures that they have. so, it's a very, very promising lead. can't call that person a suspect yet, because you never know. it could turn out to be innocent behavior, but it's one of the most promising things that they have, and they are working very aggressively to follow up on it. >> i remember in the aftermath of the oklahoma city bombing, of course, there was that famous and iconic police sketch of the suspect and then when timothy mcveigh was apprehended, everyone saw this tremendous resemblance between the two. i guess the question is, if they do have an image of this person, are there plans to release that image to the public for the sake of publicizing who this person is? >> plans, no. they have thought about it. it cuts both ways, because if they think they can't make any progress in determining who it is, then they probably will release it, but probably will do that only when they think they have run out the string that they have, because releasing the picture causes all sorts of problems. it alerts the person that they are on to them, it also causes all sorts of calls that come in from people who will falsely say they think they know who it is. you know, that's the price of asking for public tips, you take the good with the bad. you know, it may come to that if they need to do that. it's certainly something they've thought about. >> i want to ask you, finally, about the ricin question. this has been this crazy sort of subsidiary story in the aftermats of boston, a series of letters tested positive for ricin sent to federal officials, lawmakers, wicker, carl levin, the president himself. we have an arrest now i understand of a man named kenneth curtis from mississippi on that case. can you tell us the latest on that? >> the letters were sent to an army laboratory for testing because these initial field tests are often inaccurate. what i'm told is that after doing 24 to 36 hours' worth of lab tests, they have a sort of mixed picture on it, that the tests show it's something, but they don't know the potency of it. is it really dangerous levels of ricin or is it merely sort of a junior league version of it and they are trying to find out whether it really is dangerous or not. so, they are doing more testing. in the meantime, you're right, they have arrested this suspect in mississippi. it's someone that they've been watching closely for the past 24 hours or so, because they had thought as of last night this was the person who sent the letters. it's someone who's written to congress many times before, well known to the capital police, so we just don't know whether this guy's going to be appearing in court tonight to face the charges or whether that will be tomorrow and what the charges he'll ultimately face will depend on the results of the test. if it turns out not harmful, that's one charge, sending threatening levels, if it turns out to be a poison, that's a much more serious charge. >> quickly, we should state the fbi said there's no reason to suspect at this point any link between the boston marathon bombing and the letters. >> right. the fbi, i think, goes a little stronger than that and says there isn't any. >> nbc's pete williams, thank you for your excellent work over the last few days, appreciate it. >> you bet. >>> up next, why our political system has zero tolerance for terrorism incidents but is fine with 30,000 gun deaths a year. stay with us. stop! humans. one day we're coming up with the theory of relativity, the next... not so much. but that's okay -- you're covered with great ideas like optional better car replacement from liberty mutual insurance. total your car and we give you the money to buy one a model year newer. learn about it at libertymutual.com. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy? tired of fees piling up introducing chase liquid. the reloadable card with no fee reloads and withdrawals at chase atms. all for one flat monthly fee so there's zero confusion. get rid of prepaid problems. get chase liquid. >>> if you want to see visible anger unlike any we've seen in recent memory coming from the president of the united states, you'll see it and then some after a senate minority killed gun reform. that's next. for his small business. can i get the smith contract, please? thank you. that's three new paper shredders. 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[ male announcer ] get the spark business card from capital one and earn unlimited rewards. choose 2% cash back or double miles on every purchase every day. told you i'd get half. what's in your wallet? the one we paid a great deal of attention to, the newtown shootings. the cycle is the same, something horrible happens, we all watch it happen in realtime and feel terrible and want to know who were the perpetrators, what are the circumstances, and why did it happen. we get some inkling and have a discussion of what the implications are for policy, what we might do to prevent something from this happening again in the future. when it's guns, when the killer is a shooter, the answer is nothing. we are told this just happens. but if it gets put in a special category called terrorism, then the answer is, everything must be done, no cost should be spared, no legal precedent should stand in the way. once it gets put in the terrorism bucket, we must do everything in our power. no one ever says people are going to die from terrorism, that's just the way it is. and if it's in the gun bucket, yeah, 30,000 people are going to die every year from guns. that's just the way it is. why is that the case? in the last 30 years, there have been 30,000 to 40,000 gun deaths in the united states per year, more than 900,000 people. in the last 40 years since 1970, there have been about 3,400 terror-related deaths, depending how you define terror according to the integrated united states security data base. a million gun fatalities in the 33 years since 1980 versus 3,400 terror fatalities since 1970, 43 years. there's a reason why terrorism has a significance and justifiably so, it's the ideological political violence does a sort of violence to the social contract itself that is distinct, menacing, horrible, it distorts society in a specific and special way, a way that a very deranged murderous kid in a school with a gun doesn't. the terrorist act, the perpetrator removes himself to resolve ideological disputes in a nonviolent fashion. but the scale of mismatch between how our political system responds to one kind of death versus the other is shocking, particularly on a day when we're watching this gun bill go down in flames. in a seemingly unrelated homeland security hearing today, senator claire mccaskill raised an incredibly intriguing question. >> based on the evidence at this point, is there any difference between sandy hook and boston other than the choice of weapon? >> the answer, which homeland security secretary janet napolitano conceded is no. underlying the according tos used by opponents of gun safety issues is the implied position that 30,000 people are going to die each year by guns and that's the way it has to be. it's the price of freedom. and it is absolutely true that some number of horrible events is, in fact, the price of freedom. you cannot have total security without the country becoming a police state. we expose ourselves to risk by getting out of the house in the morning, getting in a car, going into a public space, through there is a bizarre and perverse mismatch in our political culture about what risks are acceptable and what are not, depending on what the implement of violence is or what the origin of the perpetrator is. so, today, the manchin/toomey background check amendment, the gun bill, the watered down compromise failed to pass the senate's agreed upon filibuster of 60. keep in mind, it got 54 votes, four more allowed than if it was an actual up or down vote. it was fill bustered. >> the gun lobby and its allies willfully lied about the bill, and unfortunately this pattern of spreading untruths about this legislation served a purpose, because those lies upset an intense minority of gun owners and that, in turn, intimidated a lot of senators. i heard some say that blocking this step would be a victory. and my question is, a victory for who? a victory for what? victory for not doing something that 90% of americans, 80% of republicans, the vast majority of your constituents wanted to get done? it begs the question, who are we here to represent? so, all in all, this was a pretty shameful day for washington. >> opponents lied saying this bill created a gun registry when it did exactly the opposite, created a 15-year prison sentence for anyone creating a gun registry. so, as we follow the developments out of boston, as we leave no stone unturned attempting to find the perpetrator, another 88 or so people will lose their life to a bullet tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that. meanwhile, we'll all worry that if the suspect who blew up the finish line in boston isn't caught, we can't be sure that we're safe. we'll be right back with senator richard blumenthal of connecticut and the mother of virginia tech student that was shot in that school's massacre six years ago this week. what was their reaction as the senate vote went down today? 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[ male announcer ] advair diskus fluticasone propionate and salmeterol inhalation powder. get your first prescription free and save on refills at advaircopd.com. >>> we're joined by senator richard blumenthal, democrat from connecticut who pleaded for support from the senate floor before it was killed by a minority vote. senator, i want to first just get your reaction to today's vote. what is your take away from what happened in the senate chamber today? >> it was a shameful day. not only for washington, d.c., but for the nation, a real indictment of our democracy that there were 55 votes in the senate, 90% of americans, a vast majority of gun owners and even nra members, and yet we failed to meet the 60-vote threshold, and it was heartbreaking. the hardest part of the day was trying to explain to the families from newtown and virginia tech and other victim families how democracy could fail to work so deplorably. >> what did you tell those, i mean, what would you like to tell those victims' families, i don't know if you got to talk to them, but when you heard that one woman say, "shame on you," what went through your head? >> well, first of all, i spent some time with the newtown families after the vote, and i will tell you, they are resolute and resilient as they've been since december 14th, and really inspired me. i said to one of them, you know, we're not done. and she looked at me without skipping a bit and said, we're not even close to done. >> yeah. >> so, they are coming back. this cause is not going away. and my hope is that my colleagues will heed and hear the outrage that i hope america will express, not just from the gallery, as i heard today on the floor of the senate, but really all around the nation so that people can be swayed by that majority, that silent majority, may be too silent. >> i want to ask you about members of your own party. even if every democrat had voted for the measure under the 60-vote threshold, even if every democrat had voted for it, it still would have fallen one vote shy, but four members of your caucus all voted to essentially sustain a filibuster of this piece of legislation. have you had conversations with those colleagues of yours and how do you feel about that? >> over the last weeks, chris, i have talked to just about every one of my colleagues, and many of them on the other side of the aisle, but let's be very blunt politically, we needed republican votes. even if we had all the democrats, we still needed a bipartisan support, and that was the reason why the compromise forged by senators toomey and manchin was so critically important. it would have been a vast improvement on the current law. nowhere near as strong as i might have preferred or nowhere near as strong as many, including myself, but the point here is that we need a bipartisan vote. there should be nothing democrat or republican about supporting gun safety, and i think the brunt of it may well fall on republicans. >> very quickly, senator, what should be done next? it seems to me if the current package is voted through, everybody gets to say they did something, and in some ways that's the most perverse result, or do you think what's left in the package is salvageable or meaningful enough you want to see that passed out of the senate? >> this bill is coming back, chris, there's no running away from it, and the connecticut effect that the nra hope would dissipate, it said so specifically is not going away. so, i think a strengthened bill and some measure of bipartisan compromise is still very much reachable. remember, four and a half months ago this issue was thought to be politically untouchable. now we came very close to victory because the newtown families turned the tide. >> senator richard blumenthal, thank you for joining us tonight. let's go to laurie haas, who yelled from the senate gallery who said they should be ashamed of themselves. her daughter emily was shot twice at virginia tech six years ago this week and survived. laurie, what caused you to yell out at that moment? >> frankly, i was disgusted and ashamed myself for the senators voting the wrong way. i can't imagine what their thought process was and how they are going to explain it to their constituents and the rest of america. >> the president today talked about, obviously, the newtown families have been very visible in this lobbying effort and as well as family members of those who died in tucson and some in aurora and virginia tech. i want to play you some sound of the president talking about criticism that he was, quote, using the victims' families as props. take a listen. >> i've heard folks say that having the families of victims lobby for this legislation was somehow misplaced. a prop, somebody called them. emotional blackmail, some outlets said. are they serious? do we really think that thousands of families whose lives have been shattered by gun violence don't have a right to weigh in on this issue? do we think their emotions, their loss is not relevant to this debate? >> i wonder what your reaction is to that, laurie. >> well, i agree with him wholeheartedly. if i can't speak to what happened to my daughter, emily, laying on the classroom floor, she got shot twice in the back of the head, you know, i heard your comments earlier, that was terrorism laying in that classroom when the gunman came in three times. not only do i have more authority to speak to gun violence and how it touched my family, i think i have an obligation, you know, friends have said, colin goddard, i'm not doing this for me, i'm doing this for someone else. you know, we want to stop the gun violence from harming and hurting other families. all of the people that i work with, i've talked to people from tucson, aurora, newtown, they are doing this because they don't want other families in america to be harmed by gun violence. they don't want that pain and suffering visited on anyone. we all deserve to live free from gun violence, and we know what it's going to take, and these senators that voted the wrong way today, shame on them. and we are determined and we are coming back. we're not going anywhere. i'll be knocking on doors tomorrow. >> let me ask you this question, the argument that ended up being marshalled ultimately against the even fairly moderate watered down legislation offered in the manchin-toomey compromise was that it wouldn't actually prevent gun violence, it was an amazing argument which the nra argued to water it down, then they said this isn't going to do much. i wonder what your response to that is. when you look at the actual scope of gun violence in this country and the kind of legislation proposed, there genuinely is a mismatch between what was proposed and the scope of gun violence, but how do you respond to this argument of futility of the legislation? >> who's arguing the futility? let's be clear, the gun lobby that just wants to sell more guns. when we go to public safety experts, the law enforcement, they tell us we need to stop criminals, and the best way to do that is to do a background check on every buyer. we get our information about public safety from those experts. we don't listen to a special interest group. in virginia, we know that criminals are arrested, you know, about 79 annually at gun shows attempting to buy firearms. that is a criminal element. that's who we're -- exactly who we're after, who we're trying to stop when we do a background check on all buyers. i just think it's just, you know, garbage, frankly, they want to stop the discussion and they want to sell more guns. i'd like to save lives, and i think americans are with me. i think after sandy hook, americans became determined to do something about gun violence in america, and after today's vote, i think americans are angry, and i think those senators who voted no are going to hear from every american. either going to hear from me, and, i think, most americans are going to be with me and are going to speak up, stand up, and let their voices be heard. >> lori haas, currently working with mayor against illegal guns. thank you for joining me tonight. >> thank you, chris. >>> we have a correction to make in the case of the letters sent to the senate and white house tested for ricin, authorities first identified the suspect as kenneth curis, now kenneth curtis with a "t." we'll be right back with click three. if you've got it, you know how hard it can be to breathe and man, you know how that feels. copd includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. spiriva is a once-daily inhaled copd maintenance treatment that helps open my obstructed airways for a full 24 hours. you know, spiriva helps me breathe easier. spiriva handihaler tiotropium bromide inhalation powder does not replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms. tell your doctor if you have kidney problems, glaucoma, trouble urinating, or an enlarged prostate. these may worsen with spiriva. discuss all medicines you take, even eye drops. stop taking spiriva and seek immediate medical help if your breathing suddenly worsens, your throat or tongue swells, you get hives, vision changes or eye pain, or problems passing urine. other side effects include dry mouth and constipation. nothing can reverse copd. spiriva helps me breathe better. does breathing with copd weigh you down? 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thank you. that's three new paper shredders. [ boris ] put 'em on my spark card. [ garth ] boris' small business earns 2% cash back on every purchase every day. great businesses deserve unlimited rewards. read back the chicken's testimony, please. "buk, buk, bukka!" [ male announcer ] get the spark business card from capital one and earn unlimited rewards. choose 2% cash back or double miles on every purchase every day. told you i'd get half. what's in your wallet? >>> today this was the scene outside the federal courthouse in boston after several media outlites erroneously reported an arrest has been made in the boston marathon bombings and the suspect was headed to the courthouse. the reason why this moment is so charged, is that when we apprehend the suspect, we all know our response will depend very much on who that suspect is, their nationality, ethnicity, and religion. once again, depending who it is, there will be a tidal wave of political pressure to push them out of the normal categories and structures of criminal law and into the categories and structures to deal with terrorism that our political and judicial system has constructed in the wake of 9/11. the fight will be whether to treat him or her as a criminal in a federal court or as a terrorist in a military tribunal. to treat the bomb x of the boston marathon as a crime or as an act of war. almost 12 years after september 1 19, we are still operating within the generally ad hoc legal regime that the push administration created centered on making a crucial distinction between a criminal act and act of terrorism. so, the question we have to ask now, is that the right way to think about what just happened? does the distinction between crime and terrorism clarify things and make us safer, or does it obscure what we should actually be keeping our eyes on? joining me, former fbi agent, security consultancy, and esther, journalist, author, and radio host. great to have you all here. i think there's an extremely important point, precisely because there was this early sort of contest and argument whether the president was using the word terror or not. the next day he came out and said it was an act of terrorism. at som lwas sort of silly, stupid, political got ya, but at another level it's important how we all think about and react to what happens, right, if something is terrorism or not. i thought this bill o'reilly clip did a good job of exactly articulating how we think about those two things. take a listen. >> u.s. intelligence, as i said, best in the world. fbi, a first-rate organization. talking points believes the perps will be found and brought to justice and executed, but, if this is, if this is an international terror attack, the repercussions will be severe. and if it's home grown, that will be another stain on american history. >> right, so brought to justice, but this other thing, which is international terrorist attack. dawn, as someone who's worked in the fbi and abroad on terror attacks and at home under things that fall under the rubric of crime, do you think it's a worthwhile distinction to think about these as separate things when we think about newtown and boston? >> terrorism is a crime. title 18 of the u.s. code has a whole list of federal statutes that fall under the auspices of terrorism. for example, what we saw in boston, the reason, i think, why it was easy for people to come out early and say it's terrorism, you had a weapon of mass destruction that was used to kill people. that's -- >> weapon of mass destruction, is that specifically the term that we're using for this pressure cooker bomb? >> well, you can use it. under the wmb statute, a bomb of that can be considered a wmb. >> i did not know that. >> there's your terrorism charge, potentially. so, i personally believe terrorism is a form of criminali criminality, should be treated as so. that's not to say there are other tools in the toolbox that should be discounted. for example, if you have something that's considered a national security investigation, you get authority to do things like fiza, national security letters, things like that. those are all valuable intelligence collection tools. >> then we get to this interesting point, right, if it's someone who's a domestic u.s. citizen, presumably that national security aspect will not be brought into play, right, if it is a foreign national presumably it will. i wonder what your reaction is to that, henna. >> chris, i think what this really hones in on is the fundamental question we've had since 9/11, which is does an act of terrorism cause us to change our laws, our values, our principles, and the bottom line is that it doesn' ot. an international terror attack, which is bill o'reilly's phrase, there's an additional set of tool kits that are useful and necessary that allow investigators to get to the bottom of things. >> so, there are, you know, laws that have been put in place that allow us to pursue terrorism, whether it is international or domestic, and i don't think -- i don't want us to get into the kind of speculation we've seen raging over the networks right now. >> of course, right. >> i think that the bottom line is law enforcement right now has all the tools it needs and one of the things that we've seen at this point is how responsible the debate largely has been amongst policy makers, from president obama, to governor deval patrick, the message rightly has been one of resilience, inspired, i think, by the resilience of the people of boston. >> should we care whether it's terrorism in the sense of what the motivations were, whether they were ideological or political in some way, does that matter in terms how we, as a society, think about how to prevent it, how we should charge or punish the person who did it? >> it matters because we are a nation who has a particular relationship with violence, so, once something is defined as terrorism, it changes our relationship to how we think about who the perpetrator will be, depending on who is caught so that if the perpetrator is white and male, it will not be the kind of -- we will not think about it in terms of terrorism as if he were muslim. that's just the reality of how we think about terrorism. it becomes the -- >> we call timothy mcveigh a terrorist, don't we? >> we call timothy mcveigh a terrorist, but we do not deal with white men in america the way we've dealt with muslims post-9/11. there is a difference in how we relate to the perpetrator, depending who they are and where they are from. that matters because it speaks to what i describe as our intimate and contradictory relationship with violence and once you put the "t" word in, once terrorism is defined, i don't think it's just who the individual is, if they are a foreign national -- >> or a group of individuals. >> -- or a group of individuals, it's the way which that person then initially directly connects to our policy. >> do you think that's right with respect to law enforcement, do you think the division between the timothy mcveigh's of the world and muhammads of the world? >> i think that it doesn't really. i mean, i believe -- this is from my experience, you cannot and should not get tunnel vision looking for a specific, you know, because somebody has a particular faith, they pray five times a day, therefore, it's an international terrorism versus a timothy mcveigh type. we have seen so many cases where you have -- >> let me just say, it could be a left wing terrorist, we literally know nothing. someone who is mad at his or her ex-spouse who happened to be working the medic tent. >> what you need to focus on is the activity, the race, religion, you know, all of that really is irrelevant when it comes to you have to be able to prove the activity isn't furtherance of terror. >> this is what's going to happen, i guarantee this is what's going to happen, if the person caught is indeed a foreign national of any kind, there will be a massive wave of political pressure for that person not to be charged in article three court. i can tell you here right now, susan collins got in front of that, what do you say to that? >> i say look at the track record. we have a very good track record of bringing these individuals into federal court using the statutes that are available to us. even in -- >> even a foreign national? >> -- even a foreign national. being able to use that intelligence in a criminal case, i would say look at the record. >> i want to get more from you, hina, and play a bit of sound of peter king talking about what exactly incursions we should tolerate in the name of no one dying from terrorism, because it's an interesting contrast to how we feel about guns on this day of all days. we'll be right back. omnipotent of opportunity. you know how to mix business... with business. and you...rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle. and go. you can even take a full-size or above. and still pay the mid-size price. i could get used to this. 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[ laughter ] [ male announcer ] connect all your wi-fi-enabled devices with u-verse high speed internet. rethink possible. >>> hina you want to respond with something don just said. >> i agree with don. the best way to spontd to terrorism is use the tools we have with our article three courts. i think that calls to treat either foreigners as different are unnecessary, ineffective, and irresponsible. that's what we did when we treated the acts of a fringe group after 9/11 as a global war. that's where we expanded it to and look where we've gotten, military commissions that don't work, that are an embarrassment, and allow alleged terrorists to claim they are warriors. >> we've decimated al qaeda, gone years without a successful attack. >> and one of the best tools we've had is through law enforcement, through the hundreds of terrorism prosecutions in our courts. >> when terrorism is on the table as a policy matter, right, no one ever argues for cost-benefit analysis, how much should we do. everyone says we should not tolerate a single death from terrorism. here's congressman peter king, essentially, making that argument, that kind of argument yesterday. >> i don't -- my idea that the right to privacy is in a private setting. if you're out in public, i don't think you have the right to assume anything's private. >> you're not concerned we're going to overly secure, make it so going to a sporting event becomes almost impossible? >> ask the parents of the 8-year-old -- ask somebody who's lost somebody in a terrost incident, would you rather have a loved one dead or camera on the telephone pole, i think they'd take the camera. >> that's the argument, right, would you rather have your loved one dead or a camera on a telephone pole, i think they'd take the camera. >> there's the universality about the reaction to what should happen that is different depending on how we define the piece of violence. everyone's a victim -- >> anyone could be that person. >> absolutely, absolutely, child or adult, male or female, black or white, in that moment, we are victims. depending when the perpetrator is, that fundamentally changes when we think about justice, retribution, and our identity as warriors, as being willing to exercise revenge or retribution, but also to not simply hold an individual responsible depending on who they are, but to make the entire group from which they come responsible, too. if they are not white and male specifically. >> hina snrks. >> let's look at how problematic that is. extremist violence comes from many different forms and we don't say, for example, perpetrators members of the ku klux klan, we don't require christians to distance themselves and say that's not part of christianity, but we're equating falsely terrorism islam or muslims, we do deep damage to innocent people and we, i think, hurt the ability of -- >> do you think that equation has been made a lot in the last few days? >> i think that -- >> i feel like it's been largely better than, i think people have been very careful with some real notable exceptions about that. >> i think that's exactly right and that's actually where i was going is that we have been more responsible right now, and that is the exact right approach, but that must not change regardless of who the perpetrator is. >> don, let me just show you this chart real quick, gun deaths versus terrorist deaths. when you look at that chart, think about where our priorities are, what we think about as a society that we need to guard against to secure people, like, does that match to what the priorities and resources of the federal government, for instance, are? >> well, if you look at it just in terms of an economist would look at it, the cost benefit or, you know, which is the biggest risk here, obviously, more deaths from guns. but, you know, i think when you -- terrorism, obviously, invokes something nor visceral in people. images of 9/11, so, you
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possible accomplice. let's bring in nbc justice correspondent, pete williams. this is a quickly developing situation. how many people are the police looking for right now? >> i think they're not sure. i think we can say probably three. dzhokah tsarnaev, the person who is the man with the white hat and the marathon bombing on monday. for sure. and then possibly as many as two others. people that are described to us as possible accomplices. the authorities think that they may be in the area. that's one of the reasons for this extraordinary request that all boston residents stay home and off the streets. leaving the city looking pretty much like the day the earth stood still. and they also found a bomb this morning in boston. that was safely disposed of. so you put those factors together, and that is the explanation we're told for why this extraordinary security regime in which people not only in watertown, where they think that satsarnaev is still holed somewhere, possibly where everybody has been gathering and also in the boston area, shutting down the mass transit system for many, many mil
MSNBC
Apr 16, 2013 9:00am PDT
reid and joining us from washington is nbc news justice department correspondent pete williams. pete, i'd like to go to you first, given what the president just said coming out and saying it is an act of terror does not come as much of a surprise, given the contours of this. but still something worth remarking on in terms of how the white house is handling this event. >> perhaps so. but this is a case of you know, do as i say, not as i do. or perhaps actions speak louder than words, is what i meant. the very fact that it was announced last night that the fbi was taking the lead in this investigation answered the question. because the fbi has jurisdiction in a case like this only if it's considered an act of terrorism. we crossed that bridge last night. with the words were used or not. in terms of the investigation, let's just clear up a couple of points that were confusing overnight. just two devices, there was a suggestion there were others because so many packages had to be destroyed. there was mixed information about whether any of them campaigned explosives, they did not. sports
MSNBC
Apr 19, 2013 12:00pm PDT
through abarricade. their uncle spoke passionately about his nephews, urging dzhokhar to do the right thing. >> dzhokhar, if you're alive, turn yourself in and ask for forgiveness. the victims from the injured and from those who left ask forgive misfr from these people. you put a shame on our family, tsarnaev family. you put a shame on the entire chechen ethnicity. >> boston is paralyzed today. basically all of mass transit shut down. residents across the city told, stay holm. there's no telling how long this lockdown could last. >> there are continuing developments in the investigation. which we will be able to talk about. not now but later. it is important that folks remain indoors and not open the door. keep the doors locked and not open the door unless there is a uniform identified law enforcement officer on the other side of it. >> part of that process included controlled explosions. police say it was done merely out an abundance of caution. authorities hoping for some evidence as to dzhokhar's whereabouts. nbc news national investigative correspondent michael issakof is on the ground. >> we've been promised a briefing for several hours now that was going to give us an update on where things stood. clearly, it's a fluid situation. the last one we got just about an hour and a half ago was there have been some new leads authorities were pursuing. what that meant we do not know. clearly they do not have tsarnaev in custody right now. they still have very deep concerns about the threat he poses and the threat that others -- that an accomplice or accomplices may pose. and the most significant threat of all is the fact there might be ieds out there like the one found this morning that have been -- that have left on the streets of boston. making it very difficult, even if they get tsarnaev, roll up him and his accomplices, to tell the public with confidence they can return to the streets. knowing there might be other ieds and bombs out there. >> you referred to potential accomplices. is that based on anything other than an aboundance of caution o do we have some reason to believe there were additional people involved in addition to the two brothers? >> we have been told there are other associates out there they're looking for. at least one. i'm a little cautious about using the plural. we've got conflicting accounts on that. the fact is, we don't know for sure at this point. i'm not sure they know for sure. as we've seen at various stages in this investigation, they -- people become persons of interest like the very first night when they went to the home of that saudi student here, searched his apartment, interviewed him for hours and then concluded he had no connection it i think in a case like this, anybody who the brothers have had connections with are going to become persons of interest, persons they want to question. whether or not they are actu accomplices in the bombing, in the terrorist account, you know, we should be cautious about speculation. >> i talked to an nypd officer today. going door to door in a fairly large city is extraordinarily difficult. you're looking for a needle in a haystack. of course when you open the door where dzhokhar is, anything might happen, a booby trap, a gun, are you hearing about the difficulty of going door to door in this large area? >> it seems like a monumental task. this is a metropolitan area. millions of people. and listen to what governor patrick said twice today, that people should stay inside and not open the door to anybody unless they're confidence it's a law enforcement officer. basically the entire city is in lockdown right now. and that seeps on its face bizarre and somewhat surreal. when we're talking about fear of a single individual. who may or may not have an accomplice or two. that one terrorist can turn an entire city into lockdown. it's just -- it's an unprecedented situation. and it does lead one to suspect that the concerns might be greater than just the damage that tsarnaev himself can inflict. the fear that there are other ieds out there, and where they are, they don't know, and they cannot account for them. >> michael issikof, thank you. let's bring in terrorism expert rog cressy. roger, what's the latest on your end? i'm specifically interested in your take on governor patrick's words to the city, to stay in their homes. do you think that means maybe they do not have dzhokhar cornered? and are still worries he may be on the loose? >> i think what it means is there's part of this picture that law enforcement really doesn't have their arms around right now. and there are potential unknowns here that could be quite deadly. they're being very cautious. it's a surreal scene in boston right now. but it's being done for a very important reason. if these two individuals were -- had accomplices, then they have to be prudent and assume there could be additional devices. we've seen one identified and rendered safe already. so they're doing what is in the abundance of caution category. and it strikes me as the right thing to do. >> without speculating on the motives of these particular individuals which we can't know at this point, i was wondering if you could talk to us a little bit about chechnya and a history of terrorist connections there. correct me if i'm wrong but if there was related to chechen separatists, this would be the first incident of chechen terrorism outside russia, so it would be unprecedented from that standpoint, but are there any growing ties between chechnya and the largest sort of jihadive movement? >> the answer is yes. there really was a separative movement for many years. in the aftermath of the soviet union, there was a long period in the '90s where there was tremendous bloody conflict between chechen separatists and the russian military. and their security services. over a period of time, though, you have seen, i saw this when i was still at the white house, a mixing of chechen fighters with what i'll call the traditional jihadist movement. you saw bin laden and members of al qaeda voice support for what was going on in chechnya because it is a muslim region, and over type, we've seen a greater integration of fighters. some of whom went to chechnya to fight on behalf of the separative movement and on behalf of the broad jihad. now what you see in the second phase of chechnya is objective by some separatives to create a pan islamic presence throughout central asia. we're dealing with a phenomenon that's changed over time. up till now, we've got to be careful on speculation, this was not an american fight. there was nothing that went on there that was of a foreign policy priority of the united states. particularly in the world of counterterrorism. if in fact, ties can be confirmed, this changed things significantly. >> what kind of precedent is there in your mind for this kind of attack where we're seeing tactics of somewhat conventional terrorist hit, followed up by what is essentially criminals fleeing and car jacking and tangling with police? is that a format that we've seen in other terrorist incidents? >> in the aftermath of the attacks on monday, we knew they were not suicide attacks. many people assume that the perpetrators were going to flee to try and hide out. there's a lot of references to the eric rudolph model during the centennial park bombing in 1996. it turned out what we had was a third situation. where these individuals constructed additional explosive devices, were planning to conduct additional attacks and because of i think the fbi press conference where they publicized their photos it triggered them into doing something entirely different. probably different from what their plan was on the aftermath of the attack on monday. a very unique fee none mon we're dealing with here. how this plays out over the next couple of hours and days is going to be very, very fascinating to watch. >> your view then is it was the surfacing of those photos yesterday that really changed their plan of attack? >> that's based on what we know right now. really the only person i believe reporting right now is pete williams, in pete we trust, and pete says there have been no sign the local law enforcement was going to move into the house th to arrest them. in some respects what the fbi did was exactly the right thing and gave them the intended outcome. tragically, another loss of life has changed. in the death, the murder, of the m.i.t. police officer. >> their uncle is speaking, and they're talking about it's nonideological, it's nonreligious. do we buy this? it comes from just personal anger and not something eye deological? >> we deal with the who, the how and the why. we know the answers to the first two. the third one is the person that really troubled us and fascinated us the most. what caused this radicalization, what cautioned the trigger in order to kill fellow citizens, i mean, not just people that they had no relationship with. we simply don't know right now. i think it's also important that we step back and remind everybody that they may have lived in the chechen community, this in no way paints a brush across the chechen community in watertown or elsewhere. these are the acts of individuals. we need to focus on the individuals and not draw sweeping conclusions about the broader ethnic community. >> thank you for that insight. also for that important reminder. now, let's bring in jonathan, investigative reporter for w nbc here in new york. what is the latest you have? in particular, can you bring viewers up to speed on travel that tamerlan, the older brother, who is now deceased has done recently? >> last year from january through july he left, flew out of new york's kennedy airport and flew to russia and spent six months overseas. whereabouts unknown. they're desperately trying to track those movements to find out was he just going back to visit relatives or did he go to engage in some sort of terror training or rad dalization? that remains unanswered at this early stage of the investigation. that is one piece of the puzzle. the other question or these documents that we've obtained show that law enforcement really didn't get on to their trail till recently because based on the travel warnings, they weren't date stamped till 6:00 a.m. this morning on both the brothers. so it's clear they really weren't on the radar screen anytime before in terms of law enforcement. so people always ask, where there any warning signs? were these people -- did they do anything that would raise that red flag? there appears to be nothing based on the documents. and the people we've spoke within so far that raises that question. but of course the investigation's early on and they're trying to track them and their movements. >> if you wanted to work on the theory he went to russia for six months to get some sort of advice, what are the groups in russia you would look at? >> there are groups in chechnya. who knows if he traveled to pakistan. he could have traveled anywhere. so it's really unclear. the question really is if he did do this, what kind of training or support did he have? we had a bomb plot in new york. which the fbi and u.s. attorney general's office says was orchestrated by a game named shukarula. he is still on the loose. but there are lots of actors who, overseas, who want to do this country harm. you look at new york for example. there have been more than 15 plots targeting this city since 9/11. in terms of the various places and groups that anyone, you know, who's dedicated and wants to train and learn, it's certainly we've seen example of example of it over the years. >> today the chechen president, ramzan kamalat released a statement, and he also expressed disappointment in the killing of the elder brother, he said, it would have made sense to carry out an investigation. evidently the security services needed a result at any price in order to calm the populous. he also said, you must look for the roots of their evil in america. meaning this was not something that they learned at home in chechnya. what do you make of that from the chechen president? >> first of all, you talk about the options that law enforcement had. you had a man with an ied strapped to his chest. who had just allegedly killed a police officer and was throwing bombs and guns. to claim that, you know, they should have taken them alive as they were running at the officers, you know, last-minute fuselage, that's just -- you take that for what it is. and the second part of your question was in terms of the root of evil here in america? look, these two gentlemen, based on the documents we've obtained, came with their family and they sought asylum to come to this country and it was granted. one of them was naturalized on 9/11/2012. their own uncle as we've played on this channel has said these two lost souls do not speak for their family and have brought their family disgrace. i think in terms of the conversation that's ongoing, i would -- i think most americans would agree with the uncle and the relatives and their opinion of these two gentlemen. >> let's get more on the ground from watertown with nbc's erica hill. >> hey, guys, good afternoon. what's happening where we are in watertown. you can hear the helicopter everyhe overhead. they've been here for the last few minutes. we were seeing house to house services. when that started, three suvs pulled up along with two crown vic cars. the others were marked transit police. we saw them going from house to house. they had dogs out as well. we saw a mass of officers behind us. many of them brought in on the bus as we've been talking about. and at one pint there was a group of about nine officers who made their way down this same street. we should point out those officers were not all wearing their vests. that was of interest. those cars just left the block. we've noticed a number of officers making their way past us. some are standing now just in front of me. that's the latest in terms of what's happening here. of course in the neighborhood, this neighborhood, police have been recommending, and everybody seems to be abiding by this call to shelter in place as it's called. we're talking about close to 1 million people within the boston area among these six hundrtowns in waterindividuatown. there were probably about 60% complete, so those will continue till they've seen every structure in interest to them. >> let's get to nbc's kerry sanders on the other side of watertown. what are you hearing? >> okay, so let me sort of back up because earlier today we've been telling you about a moment where the officers came down arsenal street, the main street here, and to me it appeared they were drawing down on an individual that was laying on the sidewalk. and i got myself behind a car. i was looking, ingot a glimpse of what appeared to be a person. i can now confirm it was a person laying there. the authorities thought that person was the suspect. the number two suspect that they've been after. and so when they drew down on him and got him down and the officers went running down the street, this guy was basically sited by more than 100 weapons from the police. the authorities pushed us back and has taken some time to really get an answer as to what it was. i got to say, glimpsed it awfully quickly. i can tell you from sources in the police ranks here that that was a person. it all ended when they eventually determined, which took a long time, he was not somebody they were after. and that he did not have a bomb strapped to him. when it was all said and done, he walked away. so that's the end of that story, but it certainly explains the heightened drama of just one individual at one moment who they really thought they had the suspect and it was not and now we know. >> nbc's kerry sanders. joining us now is james cavanaugh, hostage negotiator at the atf as well as special agent in charge. take me inside dzhokhar's head right now. his older brother is dead. he is being hunted. he is hated. his own uncle was on television. sort of denouncing him. what is his mood and what will hostage negotiators be trying to work with as they prepare for what they hope isdzhokhar that is alive inside a building? >> dzhokhar's world was one thing up till he planted these devices monday. he thought it was going the way he wanted to go. till he turned on the television last night and the task force released his photograph. and that's when he went on a roller coaster ride of panic, mission, suicide, flight, fight. i mean, a roller coaster ride is the best way to describe this guy's mental state probably since last night when those photographs come out. he thought he was in control. even though that control was mass murder. and evil. he still thought and his brother still thought they were in control. but they lost control when they realized they were going to be captured. so, you know, he's out there. i think the agents and policemen think he's in a certain area. that's where they keep squeezing that perimeter down. we call it locate, isolate and evacua evacuate operations. and that's what they're trying to do. they got a perimeter. the governor said they were 60% complete with searching that area. that probably indicates they have a number of houses and garages and alleys that they've got to sweep. they've likely taken a lot of those citizens away so they're now doing a slow methodical search for dzhokhar. to your point when they come up on him, he could blow himself up. he could shoot at them. or he could surrender. or he could talk. so it's going to be real interesting how it develops from here. we don't want anybody else to get injured because we had sean collier killed last night, such a tragedy. he might have recognized them. he might have glanced at them. it might have been the first contact they had since their picture was out and, you know, they went after him. >> you talked about a transformation for dzhokhar from sort of feeling like he was in control and things were going the way he wanted them to go, to feeling like he was very much out of control and sort of freaking out. is there another transportation here from, you know, when they allegedly perpetrated the bombings, they obviously wanted to get away with their lives. has there been another transformation here to where the older brother had explosives strapped to him, where they're in more of a sort of suicide mind state at this point? >> it's hard to read, but the way it could be, the way it looks like a little bit to me, is this was going to be a bombing campaign. i don't believe they built this pressure cook eer that's out the today. i think they had that. i think that was the next one that was going to be placed at some other time. they weren't planning on kill ig themselves now but they had probably pledged to do that in the al qaeda philosophy, if you will, or various spin-off group. but it got turned downside down by the task force because they underestimated law enforcement and underestimated the resilience of the people in boston to have all this information come into the police and that turned their world upside down but because they were, you know, we're surmising hearing but already into the distorted theology of al qaeda, then they went to suicide mode. i think that's probably what happened. now we have a 19-year-old boy though whose older brother, whose probably the most deeply involved person, the younger one, you know, things have changed for him too. he could be lying in the grass behind a garage now or in a basement window. scared. he may not be watching television. he could be in a house that has been evacuated. or he could be holding somebody, which will be the worst case scenario. >> obviously we don't know. but we do know it appears they spent a lot of time planning this attack and don't seem to have thought at all about any escape plan or even a plan that involved the world would response to their first attack. authorities would come after them. what do you make of that? or the fact they had so many other bombs? perhaps they were in the middle of what they described as a bombing campaign and they were interrupted in the middle of that? and the escape plan would come later? >> i think they thought they wouldn't get caught. they would do these bombs, the marathon, for probably a variety of reasons. one was theater. and then they would watch the news and be happy they did their vulgar act and plan yet another. and yet another. i mean, i don't think they had an escape plan because they didn't think they would have to escape. they thought they were smarter than law enforcement. but like you described when it came out, it all changed for them. this rob the store, shoot the police officer, car jack the guy, there's no plan there. that's just, you know, manic flight. >> how common is it to see a suspect or terrorist who has capacity for pulling off the details but struggles to have what might be called a master plan, as you're pointing out, no exit strategy? >> i think it is common with these small, you know, one, two, three groups of people. it's hard to pull off the coordinated 9/11 attack. that cost quite a bit of money to pull that off. quite a bit of planning. the original thoughts from going back to the plot in the mid-90s. they planned and thought about that. that took years to orchestrate these guys. 12 guys doing all this. so it takes a lot of process. when you get these little plots like the man in times square, he leaves the keys in the car. he's a taliban macgruber over here. the guy can't even pull off being a criminal. that doesn't make them not deadly. that's the sad part. as bad as they might be at executing the crime, they're still very deadly. and that's the bad part now. we get an advantage when they fumble and bumble and we can catch them, but, you know, unfortunately monday they got past us. and -- >> well, thank you for that, james, and please do stay with us. now we want to turn to nbc's david gregory who's been monitoring what's happening at the white house in response to all this. >> a little bit more broadly in the intelligence community. as they look at all this. and officials i'm talking to. as they monitor this, one of their big hopes frankly is this younger brother is apprehended. is actually taken into custody. because they want to learn more about the circumstances of not just the plot but also their story. and so many officials say it is the older brother who is now dead who may be the key, that his story, tracing back what they believe are his travels back to russia. his ties to his own father. the question about whether his father played a role. and what one official called a pretty fast radicalization. they don't know exactly the time frame for when that could have occurred. but they think the older brother's actually the key to that. some people i'm talking to are saying they're trying to understand the difference in the psychology of these two young men. as best we can determine thus far. what do the actions tell us? the older brother who's dead. he runs toward the authorities who are trying to apprehend them. was he more steeped in whatever theology was motivating him, whatever ideology was motivating him? whereas his younger brother wants to flee. runs over with the car his older brother to simply get away. so they think there's a lot more information to be learned about that process. that gets to a larger fear about what officials in the intelligence community are looking into as far as home ground terror. how does radicalization occur? can they track it back to a place of worship? might it have been a monk? how did that happen and how did it happen so quickly and how does it get missed by the intelligence community here? there's no question that based on people i'm talking to formerly of the intelligence community,s that goi community, that's going to be a big area of focus. >> are we talking to russia, talking to chechnya, talking to our london and madrid and other european bureaus to leeias over security concerns? >> based on talking to people, the russian piece they believe will be important. i can't tell you exactly what that level of contact has been. it is striking though, as one person has told me, that russian president putin's statement, basically very strong statement, indicating how seriously he takes russian terrorism. it was meant to send a message. and that is that putin has always said that, you know, chechen separatists in his mind were terrorists. and of course they've been behind a terror war against russia. but going back to the bush administration post-9/11, there was a very uneasy feeling in the american administrations about dealing with russia and how they were dealing with chechnya and information sharing. i think that's going to be an important piece. i go back to something i've been told, the role potentially of these two boy's father. it's an area of real concern and question for the intelligence community. did he play any role in whatever pass. particularly with his older brother's travel which they are trying to confirm. because any process of radicalization leads to questions about foreign travel, foreign exposure. foreign terror group they might have been afillated with. was there some social contact over the internet? might have been social contact here in the united states? it can happen, i'm told, by experts, rather quickly. and rather crudely. i mean, for lack of a better word. you don't have to be deeply steeped into an organization. it can happen over the internet. it can happen with other kind of social contact. and of course, this has been reported by pete williams, that the concern by investigators there may be others out there now here in that area, in the boston area, people who might have facilitated these two in some way. did they facilitate them in some way that would either help them with their bomb making skills, provide them with help in communications? one of the theories the intelligence community is operating under is they were pretty circumspect about their communication, how they operate. just part of what they're trying to unangle. that's going to continue to really only begin once this piece we're dealing with now is resolved. >> this has been a pretty unusual emergency response scenario. you had the terrible attack on monday. then after or immediate response, a turn in washington to gun control. the vote in the senate. the dramatic remark the president has made about the attack. about the legislative agenda. now of course all eyes back on a manhunt and a lockdown in boston. when does the white house get back out in the lead on this issue? obviously, if a suspect is taken alive, there are tremendous tools at their disposal partly developed in response -- like the death penalty act, the federal death penalty act. a lot of capital offenses. when does the white house ramp back up their leadership here? >> even before you get into the criminal justice system, law enforcement and federal authorities have the ability to interrogate him as a suspect. because they would like -- there's a public safety examination which would allow him to be questioned for intelligence purposes. they will take ample opportunity and full advantage of that if they're able to actually arrest him, take him into custody alive. that's a big if. that becomes a potentially really big opportunity. to your broader point about what the administration does, what official washington does. the intelligence community is certainly on rating their questions, they're chasing de i leads. what the president has done in response to this is try to both reflect the pain of the country and of the boston area. also reaffirm the resilience of the area and country. he's got to be preparing for how he prepares the country for what results from all this. the fact that the first kind of terror event of its kind since he's been president. really examining an after-action report. were there signs on the road to this particular plot that were missed by the intelligence community? what has to be learned from that? and how you really learn. this is a new state of terror that the country has to get used to. yes, to get its head around. an area of vulnerability to a smaller bore terror attack. i spoke to a former official who is an expert in this area who said, look, the the more as a government we ramped up security, the more terrorists, whether they're affiliated with a group by al qaeda, the more they go to softer targets. and i think that's what we have seen. whatever the facts turn out to be in this particular case. and the government and congress are going to be responding to that in some fashion as this goes beyond what we're dealing with today and perhaps in the days to come. >> all right, david gregory, thank you very much for your time. we'll see you on "meet the press" on sunday. let's go to nbc's michelle kosinski in london. >> we're starting to hear from people really all over the world. uncles, sister in new jersey, an aunt in canada, cousins and the father in daga stan in southern russia. these people all coming out of the woodwork. a large family that had been through so much together. according to sources that are quoted in dagastan, this family had moved from kyrgyzstan to dagastan in 2001 as refugees. they're granted asylum in the u.s. two parents, two sons, two daughters. they basically you might say they attained the american dream. they moved from an extremely troubled part of the world and they get the chance to come to the united states where it seems they do great. these two young men went to schools. the youngest one going to the university of massachusetts. doing well. participating in sports. having friends. winning awards. all of that stuff that you might say set them on the path for this great potential. you also see these rifts coming out now. "the boston globe" was able to interview someone who identified themselves as a cousin of these two who is in dag delawaastan a said he warned the younger brother about the older brother. worried, he claims, he was causing trouble in the family, that he seems to be a bad influence on the younger one. then you hear from a sister, a quote from her. this is the sister in new jersey who says, i'm not okay. no one is okay right now. i'm hurt for everyone who has been hurt. i'm sorry for all the people who are hurt and for all the people who lost their lives. then it says she hasn't spoken with her two brothers with whom she was a refugee and made it to the u.s. for years. the uncles hadn't spoken ton these two guys in years. so obviously there's some big problems there that aren't really being discussed right now. the aunt hadn't spoken to them in a long time. one of the uncles today said he actually heard from the older brother tamerlan on thursday night. he he was interviewed and he said tamerlan called him out of the blue after years of not speaking and said, i love you, and asked for forgiveness. for what exactly, it's not clear. the uncle was quote the as hd, e had been fixing cars, hey enied. people who are claiming they're family members and friends, is that these two guys were very smart. i mean, it seems obvious even in the way they carried this out successfully according to what they obviously wanted to do the way they were able to get into a space where a bag left for a few moments might not be so noticeable. you know, such a crowd, such a situation, they were smart enough that it did work out. but people who were so smart, what made them take this path when they seemed to doing quite well is really unknown at this point. you just get these little clues that emerge but you don't even know that they're clues to. i think it's so easy to make assumptions but we have seen on these social media sites have been attributed to these guys yes they were linking to things that were sympathetic to chechen separatist causes. that the older son was linking to jihadist videos and songs. what exactly was going on, nobody, including their own families, at least what they're saying at this point, seems to know for sure. >> right, and i think that is the question on everyone's mind. michelle what about the parents, david gregory was just saying that people in washington have some questions about a potential role played by the father and the radicalization particularly of the older brother. and do we know where the mother is or what she's doing? >> yes, there have been reports she was arrested for shoplifting not long ago in the boston area. that she stole more than 1, thou $,000 worth of clothing. we don't really know what the disposition of that was or even if that's true. no one has interviewed the mother that we know of at this point. the father has been interviewed. by both the russian press and the associated press in america. it was just very strange. he was obviously emotional. calling his younger son a true angel. saying he was in his second year of medical school in the u.s. which is not exactly true. and then at one point in the interview with the russian press, the father said that the older son tamerlan was famous in america and he thought he had been in the three-time u.s. boxing champ, you know, completely not true, so how much contact he was having with his sons or what kind of state of mind he was in while he was being interviewed, unphone know this time. he said a lot things that didn't make sense. defending his sons. saying they may have been set up and that sort of thing, but it doesn't seem like there's any real evidence he could have been a source of radicalization at this point. i mean, he's still in dagastan. he obviously came to the u.s. at one point. and these young men had tied to their home region in russia, but where that, you know, the extend of that not clear right now. >> okay, michelle kosinski in london. now our guest from the counterterrorism center. i want to ask you about the broad lone wolf theory that sort of by design centers on the idea there is one guy disconnected from society, unhappy. we know from some reports, including from these guy's uncle, ruslan, that maybe they didn't have friends. help sa he said they had trouble settling in. we have some reports they were talking about not having made many american friends. but there are two them. they have each other. is the fact that there are two, does that put this in a different category than a typical lone wolf kind of terrorism act? >> i don't think so necessarily. there's a lot of terms thrown around to describe people who are radicalized. either islamic extremism or white supremist aryan nation. i think the best term really is home grown. lone wolf coknow tats one person, but the fact is lots of the plots we've seen, again, extremist islamic groups or none, have not always been singletonses who were disconnected from society. for example, we had faisal assad, the new york times square bomber. so we shouldn't always think of our lone wolves as people who don't have friends. they are often people who have crises in life and are looking for something bigger but not necessarily people who have dropped out from the rest of society. >> the press conference was passionate, angry, combative and dismissive. i would imagine if dzhokhar could have seen it, it was pretty embarrassing. what does that do to law enforcement'sest eses esfforts find him? what is the potential impact on him and on their search? >> well, i hate to say it because we're all a part of it, but a lot of what media does can complicate the operational choices and the situations that law enforcement face. as you all know, the boston police department for example and the fbi have repeatedly tweeted saying do not show tactical positions. do not show where people are searching houses. because obviously it can pose a risk. in the same way, i think the uncle's very impassioned interview, it might be positive, it might be negative. frankly, i'm not in a position to know. my guess is most of law enforcement would say that might be useful but we want to be in a position to control how that message gets to the suspect in case the suspect is watching. i think all of us have to think seriously about what we say. because it really can complicate the operational situation and endanger folks. >> you're absolutely right. law enforcement obviously made a decision yesterday to release photos and move this forward. that definitely worked. do you have any insight, what is the mind-set of a suspect, when they think they're in control, and then suddenly they are all other the television? how does their mind-set change at that moment when everybody knows their face? >> i will say i'm hesitant to put myself in the mind of either of these individuals. you're absolutely right. there's been talk this morning they weren't found by the fbi with a dragnet. well, part of what the fbi and boston police obviously intended to do was make them much hire profile. and as tragic as it was, the loss of the mit officer, that is probably what drove them to be more nervous. and in their head, they might have thought they could getway from this for a while. that they might be able to hide out for a while. who knows if they had follow on attacks plans. this clearly accelerated their time line in a way that they lost control of the situation. and to some extent, that's what law enforcement wants. they want to be in the driver's seat. they want to make the decisions. >> it's such an important point. usually america's most wanted list is about fugitives. people who have already gotten away and now that's sort of a last resort for federal law enforcement. here, we saw early intelligence and they decided to turn them into effectively "america's most wanted" overnight. i want to pick up on what you were saying earlier. if they are out there, and you're talking about how investigators might want to use family members. is there any protocol for that? you mentioned the uncle. is there any method law enforcement would use to reach family members? and use that some other way as you were alluding to? >> absolutely. to be clear, the uncle outside of washington, d.c. was interviewed by law enforcement officials beforehand and law enforcement will fairly -- will always look to interview these people. they want to understand who they're dealing with. they want to understand if anyone else might be associated. they will use that both to understand the suspect and potentially to use it. ultimately, they would like to get this guy alive. that may not be possible. one of the ways they can help pressure him is most definitely through using family communicating either directly or indirectly through the media. >> i want to get your take on this. i've heard a number of reporters and analysts referring to dzhokhar as a kid, that he's 19, he's just a kid. in fact, he's not a minor, he's an adult and committed an adult act of terror. i wonder if i can get your take on the idea of calling him a kid. >> right now, i call him one thing and one thing only and that's a terrorist. and frankly, as tragic and as frightening and as contrary to the way most people see the world, you could have terrorists who are much younger than 19. how he was influenced by his older brother, that's for after the fact. right now, you have someone who has been involved with the death of at least four people. serious injury. well more than 100 others. i -- he's a terrorist. >> what coudo you make of this moment when they kidnap somebody, you know, car jack this individual, confess to this individual, and then after having committed many murdered, let him go? that seemed a bit strange. what could you make of that moment? >> honestly, i can't even speculate on that. there are so many things within plots like that that seem nonsensical to the outside, and you really don't know. maybe he had a fit of sympathy. maybe he was just confused. it goes in line also with so many people who have been asking if they were such smart plotters why didn't they cover their faces better, why didn't though any there were surveillance cameras. these guys are not terrorists like in the movies. they've done some things unforeitunately well and they'v been deadly. that doesn't mean they have everything planned out. and even if they're not perfect planners, they can still prove to be, as they have been, incredibly dangerous and deadly. >> thank you so much. >> thank you, guys. richard esposito, executive producer for the nbc news investigative unit has been working the phones with his contacts from here in new york. richard, we're now hearing police are no longer looking for a third suspect. the one on the train to connecticut. what can you tell us about what's going on? >> earlier today police were looking for two men. the manhunt is now down to one person. the younger brother of the slained suspected terrorist. and the morning hours they thought a third person was involved in the plot and that person may have taken a train toward new york. train was stopped. it was searched. no one was found. and now police say they've ruled out that possibility, and they're back to looking for the brother and hoping, they say, he is somewhere nearby. before, otherwise, they have a higher risk of not finding him for a longer time. >> we've also heard this started with a convenience store robbery, but there have been conflicting reports about that. what have you learned? >> i'm not sure whether they're conflicting or if it's just still sorting out the timeline. it certainly started with a robbery or an attempted robbery at a 7-eleven store. what you're seeing on tape. and then shortly thereafter, the shooting and killing o an m.i.t. police officer. a young patrol officer. from there, a carjacking occurred. a person was kept in their car by the two men as they raced through the streets. and they exchanged 200 rounds in gun battle with police. during that they tossed improvised explosives out of the moving vehicle at the cops. fortunately it does not look like any of those actually exploded. that's the rough chronology that got us to the situation where one brother was dead and the other one was on the run. >> and richard, going quickly back to the third suspect and the train, just to clarify, have they ruled out that there was a third person that they were looking for in particular on the train? or just that that person was not on that train? >> no, they say they have ruled out that there is a third person. they are focused on one person now. they're doing a very tight grid search, virtually door-to-door, trying to find this person. you can see they've also backed up their searchers with almost military-type equipment. tanks and heavily armed fully helmeted officers. >> richard, thank you for your reporting. we want to now walk through some of the charges that this suspects could face if captured alive. starting with the allegations of the incidents here. you have, of course, the two bombs on monday that killed three and injured over 170. the shots that ultimately killed an officer near m.i.t. the armed carjacking allegations. and then throughout and up to this moment, fleeing the scene of a crime and resisting arrest. there are multiple capital offenses. that is to say, statutes that could result in the death penalty that would be federal charges here. the first obviously domestic terrorism. killing persons, aiding a federal investigation, murder. those are all capital offenses and a person could face the federal death penalty. in addition, further potential charges include all kinds of domestic terrorism. which includes the use of weapons of mass destruction defined under federal law as any explosive or bomb device. bombings in places used for public events. harboring or concealing terrorists which could relate to more than one person, potentially. and material support for terrorists. again, on potential charges, there's also the resisting the apprehension or fleeing, apprehension by law enforcement, and conspiracy and attempts for any incomplete acts that have occurred on this string, of course, of horrific events over this entire week. and now moving to the potential penalties, which many people are interested in, if this person or persons were to be captured alive, the federal death penalty act defines over 60 capital offenses which include terrorism, crimes related to terrorism, murdering a federal law enforcement officer, which as we mentioned would be a capital offense, and the use of wmds that result in death. also, the anti-terrorism death penalty act of 1996 expands the federal jurisdiction to prosecute these kinds of crimes as terrorism in the united states and also although less likely in this instance would also give the federal authorities great power to deport persons accused of convicted of terrorism. we were discussing that with david gregory earlier today. the fact that if there are suspects captured alive, sooner or later we're going to see tremendous attention on that process, what would likely be a federal prosecution. state law is also broken. typically in a terrorism context, domestically, we'd see that prosecution and several avenues to pursue the death penalty against the suspect. >> okay. thank you for that, ari. joining us now, again, james cavanaugh, hostage negotiator at the atf, as well as special agent in charge and former fbi criminal profiler clint van zandt. james, clear up something for me based on what we just heard. they're no longer looking for a third person. dzhokhar is the only person they're looking for. some folks were being allowed to leave work and go home. we also heard from governor patrick people should stay in their homes. putting all of these pieces together in your opinion, do they have dzhokhar cornered or do not know where he is? >> well, i think they think they have him in an area near watertown that's a block or some houses you keep seeing on the feed there. they think he's in there. they've set up a heavy perimeter there with the s.w.a.t. and srt teams and doing a methodical search. fact there's no third person, s.e., is really a good point. i think that takes the tension down a little bit. >> yeah. >> because then we back up to the bombs around the city. they have this bomb isolated that they keep talking about they're going to do controlled detonation on. that bomb is not going to hurt anybody. the bomb technicians are going to take care of that bomb. no one is going to get hurt with that bomb. there could be property damage at the maximum. nobody's going to get hurt. if there's nobody else out there planting bombs, that's a big relief. we get back to where's dzhokhar? that's the critical thing at the moment. he's got to be isolated down into the ever smallest area so he can be dealt with like clint and i have been talking about. you know, through negotiation, hopefully, if you can get it static and not have to kill him right away, and kind of solve this. now, the other point that still lingers in the city is how many bombs were placed around the city. that's a timeline from when the pictures were released by the task force, to the robbery, comes in. how much time did they have to plant bombs around the city? the good news is, there's more bomb sniffing dogs in boston right now than there are reporters. and so if they have bombs scattered around, the bomb squads with their bomb sniffing dogs are going to be able to find them, render them safe. but they just need some time. that's what they're doing. >> clint, i want to bring you in. do you have insight from your years of experience of what happens to somebody's mind when their picture starts to become ubiquitous, when the fbi says this is the person we're looking for and plaster their picture all over the place? >> do we have clint? >> number one, i think as jim and i have discussed, the older brother was probably the primary influence. he influenced his younger brother. this 19-year-old man now has lost that influence. he's lost that decision-making ability on the part of his older brother, so he's on his own. look, for all we know right now, three different things. he's either hiding in one of these houses, he's under a house and maybe he's bled to death because he got shot in the ch e shootout, too, or he was able to escape. if law enforcement closes that net tighter, they get through every house and every apartment and he's not there, that's going to be a new time to consider what we're doing. did we miss him? did he get away? and we also have to consider motive on this which is most important, and, you know, sometimes we look at the simplest motive and it makes no sense to us because it's almost chaotic. and it may be that these two young men were simply trying in their own terrible way to bring attention to the chechnyan, vis-a-vis the timmy mcveigh type who said collateral damage. these are the things investigators have to look at, but primarily right now, we got to get this guy in custody and we've got to render safe any other devices, as jim says, that might be out there. >> all right. clint, thanks for that. we continue our coverage now with martin bashir. >>> good afternoon. we are staying with breaking news out of boston, where one of the largest metropolitan areas in the nation remains on lockdown. as an army of law enforcement is on the hunt for one of the suspects in the marathon bombings. dzhokhar tsarnaev is at large believed to be armed and extremely dangerous. after his older brother, tamerlan, was killed in a shootout with police early this morning. police are going door-to-door in the boston suburb of watertown where tsarnaev was last seen. the area has seen intense police activity all day long. a metro
MSNBC
Apr 17, 2013 1:00pm PDT
comb through evidence. >> a circuit board, timers. >> pieces of black nylon. what appear to be fragments of bbs and nails. >> they've identified a number of people in these pictures they've looked at. >> another campaign of fear begins with suspicious packages delivered to congress and the white house. >> it may literally come down to one or two senators. >> i don't want anybody that votes against violent criminals being able to -- >> we have over 90% of the senate democrats. if we just had 20% of our republican colleagues, this thing would be home. >> i choose to vote my conscience. >>> we have a very busy hour ahead with breaking news on multiple fronts today. we're watching the senate where at any moment lawmakers are due to begin voting on new gun safety measures introduced in the aftermath of the newtown tragedy. unfortunately, it appears that a bipartisan amendment to expand background checks will fail. as will bans on assault weapons and high capacity magazines. and there are new security concerns at the capitol. a letter addressed to president obama field tested positive for ricin poison. the day after a letter was also sent to senator roger wicker also tested positive for the same substance. >>> we begin with new information about the deadly bombing at the boston marathon. as the president and first lady prepare to travel to boston on thursday. after much speculation this afternoon, the fbi has releasted a statement. they say, quote, contrary to widespread reporting, there have been no arrests made in connection with the boston marathon attack. we do know investigators have identified solid leads from video evidence, including images of a person or persons carrying and dropping bags at the bombing scene. now, these pictures from whdh show a bag near a trash can at the blast site. just one part of the key evidence that investigators are pursuing to try to find the perpetrators. right now, there are conflicting reports as to how close they are to identifying any individuals. we expect more at an fbi briefing within the next hour. right now i want to go straight to nbc news justice correspondent, pete williams, in washington. pete, there's been a lot of back and forth this afternoon. straighten it out for us. what have you heard about a potential person of interest and where are we in this investigation? >> well, what we're told is that the pictures have been quite valuable. that they've found from a surveillance camera on a building -- and this makes sense if you think about the building surveillance camera being up high so that it can look down on the crowd and get a sort of bird's eye view. that they think that they see a picture of exactly what they're looking for. someone setting down a backpack or a duffel bag and then walking away. that's the kind of picture they're looking for. they have seen a face on that picture, we're told. they're now trying to figure out who that person is, find them and question them. that's where it stands right now. we're told they don't know who that person is, but it's a rapidly moving investigation. i'm sure everyone would like to have this whole thing wrapped up by the time the president gets there tomorrow. i suppose that's possible. it's also possible that this could take a long time. >> sure. >> so that's one avenue of inquiry. the other is the very productive look at the bomb pieces themselves, which were mangled, but not blown to bits by the explosion. so they have some very large pieces that they can look at and try to figure out where they came from. >> pete, it's very remarkable just the volume of forensic evidence they've been able to collect. i think you said something like 97% of the bomb making materials are actually able to be recovered? >> well, yes. what they say is that under the right conditions, it is possible to recover 93% to 98% of a bomb after it's blown up. because the pieces are not consumed by the explosion. especially one like this that has a relatively low level explosive in it. they're out there. they can find them. they hope they can round up enough to reconstruct the devices. and the pieces that we've seen in pictures are pretty big. >> now, as if we didn't have enough breaking news, we're hearing that they're clearing the federal courthouse in boston. what can you tell us about that. >> i'm told it's a bomb threat. >> and let's also talk about the forensic evidence, pete. where are we in the efforts to piece together this attack? i noticed earlier today you've talked about just the volume of pictures that have been made available. sort of a remarkable amount of information. what else are you hearing about what's been found at the scene? >> well, those are the two main things. now, of course, there's also witnesses. they've been questioning witnesses. and just to indicate how thorough this investigation is, people that they know who were around the area where the bombs went off, they're actually checking their clothes. looking for residue of the explosive material that might be in the clothes. anything else that would be a tell-tale about how this bomb was put together. so it's a very thorough attempt to get around the spots where these explosions went off and gather as much information as they can of all sorts of materials. >> nbc's pete williams, thanks so much. >>> joining us now in new york, michael leiter, an nbc news terrorism expert and former director of the national counterterrorism center. with us from boston, kevin cullen, columnist with "the boston globe." michael, you and i were just talking about, just with the volume of forensic evidence, how are they making decisions about what leads to pursue and sort of what to do with all this evidence? >> yes. there's a huge amount of physical evidence, digital media. that's the videotape and the like. and there's, of course, all the intelligence that we're not hearing about and we shouldn't hear about. the clandestinely collected human intelligence, signals intelligence. phone calls, e ma-mails and the like. what you have is a large joint terrorism task force in boston that is kind of collecting a lot of this. back in washington you have fundamentally every bit of the federal government, department of homeland security, fbi, putting hundreds if not thousands of people on this. prioritizing that is a really key element. at the very beginning, they're going to pursue almost everything that looks relevant. and really only later in the investigation do they start to narrow down what they cast aside. because you really don't want to narrow your view until you've got a very firm idea of what you're looking for and what you want to see. because you'll miss something if you do. >> we've sort of seen that today, right? on the one hand it's incredible in this age of technology that they're able to get so much incoming information from so many different sources. on the other hand, as you say, you then have to make sure that you are whittling that down to the right sources of information. >> that's right. in this case on the video front and the photographic front, they've got a huge advantage. they know where the explosions were. you can actually work out from there. krou don't know where the videos and photos came from the public. but in terms of buildings, once you have a picture of anyone suspicious, you move out and you, you know, rapidly moving circles. how long would it take if someone was walking? let's look at that video camera. you try to piece this together. that's what what was done by the british officials after the bombing on 7/7 in 2005 and they were fundamentally able to track them all the way back to their homes. >> kevin, we just learned today the name of the third tragic fatality in this bombing. ling si lu, a graduate student from china studying statistics at boston university. i don't need to tell you the emotions around this tragic event. how are bostonians coping? it's been a couple of days. what's the mood there? >> karen, i tell you, today, it's a beautiful day here in boston. i've been around the back bay all day. what i notice most is sort of the normalcy that's returned to here. i've said this before. it's an old saying in boston. we only care about three things in this town. politics, sports and revenge. our revenge is to go back to normal. what happened the other day will not change us. it's poignant that you just mentioned the third victim being named was a chinese national. because boston is an international city. it's never more international than it is on patriots day, the marathon day, when we have people from all over the world running in this race. on that day if you go back and look at the footage, the last part of the race, the last part of that finishing line, the flags of every country in the world line boyleston street. when that bomb exploded, the first responders had to tear those flags down and get to the victims. and those flags lay on the street like victims themselves. so what happened the other day was not just an attack against boston. just not an attack against the boston marathon. it was an attack against all of us. >> you know, to your point, it shows -- it's ememblematic of those who participate in the marathon, watch the marathon, participate in patriots day. this has been a community wide celebration in years past. >> oh, yeah. and it will continue. i will predict that next year at this time, you will see the biggest turnout ever for the boston marathon in terms of runners and in terms of spectators. this will not change the way we do things here. the other thing i'd say is that i bumped into a 23-year-old young lady. she's a graduate student at harvard. and she only moved to the back bay neighborhood last september. and she actually stayed monday night with her boyfriend outside of brookline. she didn't know what she'd get when she came back here. what she said she got were neighbors who had only nodded to her before who stopped her in the hallway and said, how are you? are you okay? i think there has been a change in that neighborhood. it is something of a transit neighborhood. it borders a commercial area. but it's -- i mean, i was in london for 7/7. i was in omar in northern ireland when that bomb exploded, when 28 people and an unborn child were killed. the reactions in all three of those places -- now, this is my hometown. the reaction is the same because human beings are the same. we take care of each other after things like this. >> michael, in this sort of state of heightened alert we've also seen today a bomb scare at the federal courthouse in boston as well as a ricin letter sent to the white house. we do seem to see these kinds of things after a major incident. why is that? what is it that encouraging people to sort of do these things. >> it's the old adage. when it rains it pours. it makes it very hard for investigators, i would note. you're focused on the real thing. meanwhile you've got to beat back the things which maybe aren't so real. the bomb scare in boston i would put in the size probably of people like to make things happen and see what they do on tv. the ricin i think it's a little different. here we have field tests that are positive. i think totally unrelated. and now we just have to wait the 24 or 48 hours to see if it was actually toxic ricin rather than yus the ricin protein in there. the timing with the letters and when they would be received versus the bombing, i think it's unlikely that the two really are related in any way. >> just unfortunate timing. >> very unfortunate timing. >>> michael leiter, kevin cullen, thank you so much. >> thank you. >>> coming up, the politics of the gun debate on full display. a defining moment in the senate. >> i think there's a time in our life, a defining time in public service. a time when you have the ability to stand, when you know the facts are on your side. and walk into the lion's den. and look that lion in the eye. and tell that lion, listen, not today. not today. [ male announcer ] this is joe woods' first day of work. and his new boss told him two things -- cook what you love, and save your money. joe doesn't know it yet, but he'll work his way up from busser to waiter to chef before opening a restaurant specializing in fish and game from the great northwest. he'll start investing early, he'll find some good people to help guide him, and he'll set money aside from his first day of work to his last, which isn't rocket science. it's just common sense. from td ameritrade. departure. hertz gold plus rewards also offers ereturn-- our fastest way to return your car. just note your mileage and zap ! you're outta there ! we'll e-mail your receipt in a flash, too. it's just another way you'll be traveling at the speed of hertz. >>> we're continuing to follow breaking news about possible persons of interests related to the boston marathon following. but right now we've got breaking news from the senate floor. senators are voting on a bipartisan compromise to expand background checks for firearms purchases. now, the vote which has invoked such passion that vice president biden actually left a google hangout to be on the senate floor is expected to fail. polls show that 90% of the country endorsing these measures. a separate bill, democratic, to deter firearms trafficking is also expected to be voted on. however, never let it be said that the authors of the background check amendment didn't try. hours earlier senator joe manchin of west virginia took to the senate floor with his nra card in hand and pleaded with his colleagues to reject the nra's misinformation and fearmongering about supposed criminalization of private transfers of guns. >> where i come from in west virginia, i don't know how to put the words any plainer than this. that is a lie. that is simply a lie. and anybody that can read knows that's not factual. >> the nra, however, seems to have successfully clouded the debate thanks in part to demonostra bli false ads like this one which suggest police officers don't like background checks. also in part to republican and even a few democratic senators who've been willing to carry the nra's water. >> if you decide you want to sell your shotgun and you put an advertisement in craigslist, under that bill, before you can do so, you have to go through the federal government background check. >> really, senator cruz? what's your fear? that's your fear? strang strangers won't have the right to sell guns to strangers on craigslist? amazing. joining me now, nbc's luke russert who covers capitol hill and jonathan capehart, political writer for "washington post" and msnbc contributor. luke, are they going to have the votes in the end or not? >> most likely not. 60 is a very steep hill for this. the reason why, a lot of those republican senators who voted for this to move forward on cloture have now backtracked. what's interesting, though, i think that's really happened here is two things. everyone's attention shifted to boston, to the pr push that the gun control lobby that they would have is not the same. the newtown families aren't registers as much today as they would have had that tragedy in boston not occurred. number two, boehner in the house put out a pretty declarative statement last week. we're going to water down whatever comes out of the senate. if you're a republican senator, if you're a red state democrat, why go out on a limb for this when the house is probably going to sit on it? >> harry reid, i mean, he knows when he's got the votes and when he doesn't. why would he proceed with this? i mean, i wonder, is that part of the pr strategy? put it on the floor, let it fail and then let the energy come back to this debate? >> certainly. i think that's what joe biden has said. if we don't get it today we're going to get it some other time. for this to happen, to even get this type of bill moved forward, there seeds to be what we saw 10, 15 years ago. a million mile march. more newtown families. people like that that can resonate with the american public saying 90% of us want this. you've got to come along and not fear a primary vote. >> senator manchin called every nra talking point hogwash, laws. he was very strong. yet the hogwash and lies seem to be working. >> seem to be working because they always work. h is what the nra does. we knew this after newtown when, you know, all the energy bubbled up. folks were calling for an assault weapons ban and background checks and straw purchases and bills on trafficking, that the nra would somehow find a way to keep this from happening. the nra has been around a long time. the energy and passion we saw from december 14th has to continue. what happens today, what's happening in the senate right now, shouldn't be something that deters those newtown families and all those other families in cities across the country from pushing to get something done. this is a long haul process. this is not something that turns on, you know, one failed vote. >> isn't there a risk? one of the things that strikes me, we're talking about a vote on a watered down bill. progressives and people supporting the legislation have even said, is it really what we want? no. is it the best we can get? is it an expansion, is it an improvement? yes. it's watered down. and we're still having this trouble with this bill. >> one thing to keep in mind, something that luke talked about earlier, which is, great, watered down bill gets voted on in the senate. let's say it -- let's say by some miracle this manchin/toomey bill passes or something else passes. it then goes over to the house where this watered down -- i don't know what's less than water. mist? >> literally. >> luke, let me ask you, just from a strategic perspective, we've noticed the president has really largely stayed away from it. that seems to have played into the strategy -- although the bill is going to fail, it certainly seems to have been helpful in this part of the process. >> i think he absolutely had to. look at that ad we saw from the nra going into this. obama's background check bill. obama's gun control bill. obama's bill to limit your ammunitions. to let a guy like joe manchin go forward and negotiate this was a very brilliant strategy because he's a red state democrat who carries an "a" from the nra and has a lot of respect in that community. i think it was a smart play from the white house. you don't want president obama out front on this. you want him to keep the pressure from the bully pulpit in a sense of having the rallies in hartford. in the terms of the actual legislation, less is more in terms of what the white house thinks. >> the other thing, jonathan, we were hearing earlier this week was that the strategy was going to be -- you know, i have this vision in my head of a christmas tree where you hang as much on it as you can so you essentially end up killing the bill. we'd heard that was both on the house side and the senate side, that that was going to be part of the strategy. regardless of what happens today, it's still very much in question what the final outcome could be. >> right, yeah. it is very much in question what the final outcome will be in the senate and still i go -- i go back to whatever comes out of the senate, it then goes to the house. which will be sort of a reversal. because when i first got to washington it was always the action was in the house. the senate was where bills went to die. now, you know, president obama's second term with republicans in the majority in the house, it's the senate that's cooking things up and then it goes over to the house where it will die and never see the light of day. >> luke, final question to you. the other sort of activity on the hill today, ricin letters, various packages, suspicious packages. what are you hearing in terms of the mood on the hill today in terms of that? >> look, i don't think people should really read too much into this. if you think president obama, he's been in office now almost five years. and if you don't think this has happened to some capacity, that suspicious letters have been sent to him or other senators on the hill, it definitely has. we're just very hypervigilant now. folks on capitol hill are used to this. it's one of the most dangerous places in the world to work. it's something people accept there. they're not fearful of it. people were expecting it this week. there was going to be a lot of bomb scares. you were going to see suspicious packages, substances fgalore. no one's really batting an eye. >> luke russert and jonathan capehart, thank you. >>> we'll keep an eye on that final vote tally for you. >>> coming up, the push for a person of interest intensifies in boston. switch your car insurance to geico and we could help you save on boat and motorcycle insurance too. other insurance companies are green with envy. oh, no, no, no...i'm sorry, but this is all wrong? 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[ male announcer ] that's handy. ♪ at a hertz expressrent kiosk, you can rent a car without a reservation... and without a line. now that's a fast car. it's just another way you'll be traveling at the speed of hertz. >>> we obviously meet at a time when our thoughts and prayers are with the people of boston. our hearts are with the families of the victims, and now we send our support and encouragement to people who never expected they would need it. the wounded civilians who are just beginning i'm sure for some of them a long road to recovery. it's a road that the remarkable warriors and athletes here know all too well. and as a consequence they're going to serve for all of the families as well as all americans a continued inspiration. >> that was president obama just moments ago at the white house discussing the boston marathon bombing at an event for wounded warriors. today authorities have been sifting through debris and through thousands upon thousands of images of what happened on monday. in the last few hours the investigation seems to have been picking up at a very rapid pace. let's get the latest from nbc's michael isikoff. there's a lot that's been happening. bring us up to speed on where we are in this investigation. >> reporter: first of all, i should point out, karen, we're going to learn hopefully a lot more in just a little while. there's a 5:00 press briefing that the fbi has scheduled. i think it's the expectation they'll be able to sort through all the conflicting reports we've been getting all day. we do know that there have been some significant progress in the investigation. based on those videos. particularly the one taken outside the -- by the camera at the lord & taylor department store which is right behind where this second bomb blast went off. and from the video of that -- from the footage of that video camera, authorities, we're told, were able to identify an individual dropping off a black bag at the -- at the site where the bomb is believed to have exploded. and that a facial image of that man has been captured. now, what is unclear is whether or not authorities know who that individual is, much less whether they've been able to find that individual. and we're told definitively that certainly that suspect, that individual has not been arrested. he is not a suspect at this point. he is a person of interest. and we'll see exactly how the fbi categorizes him and what it's been able to learn in a few short minutes. >> michael, to that point, things have moved so quickly this afternoon. all kinds of conflicting reports about this particular individual. the fbi seemed to put out a statement that really sounded a tone of cautious to people who were maybe jumping to conclusions. >> reporter: well, exactly. that was because there were reports by media outlets that an individual had been arrested. that the case had been solved. and even that the suspect was being brought into custody at the federal courthouse here and that prompted a lot of news media and others to congregate at the moekly courthouse. a short while later there was some sort of threat at the courthouse and the courthouse was evacuated. in any case it wasn't true. once again, as so often happens in these very high-profile investigations, wrong, erroneous reports get out there. they pick up -- they get a lot of attention. and they have to be corrected. now, we'll see, as i said, in a few short minutes exactly where authorities say they are right now. but it is a sign that we do have to be cautious. and remember what we don't know as much as what we know in a case like this. >> nbc's michael isikoff, thank you. >>> we want to report that the 5:00 p.m. briefing in boston has actually been temporarily suspended. we're going to turn now to representative bill keaton. he's a democrat who represents the ninth district in massachusetts. sir, thank you so much for joining me. >> thank you for having us. >> before you were a member of congress you were a district attorney. i wanted to get your take on, you know, obviously we've talked about the reams of different pieces of evidence that are being collected which will at some point need to be put together to build a case. so what -- what are they looking for towards that end? >> well, you know, michael summed it up so well. he said one word that everyone should bear in mind right now. patience. do not read into any delay or any cat gorization one way or the other as a lack of progress in the case or nothing being done. at this juncture right now for law enforcement officials and prosecutors, they are going to be very careful the way they approach -- they don't want to do anything that could hinder a future case. they don't want to be sidetracked down another road where they're taking valuable resources away from where, you know, they should be going. also, if there's delays, you could just speculate, and this is purely speculation, that maybe the person is talking. maybe they're gathering important information, whether the person is a suspect or not. maybe they're taking this opportunity if they have enough evidence for a search warrant. we don't know these things. as a matter of fact, as a public official, i don't want to know those things. because those are issues that are held closely by investigators that'll advance their investigation. so people should be patient. they shouldn't read one way or the other into these things. as michael mentioned, there is -- has been confirmation that they have an image of a man. and they have that image available where the person put down, you know, a bag in the area of the -- where the bomb went off. that's significant progress right there. yesterday we told people, and i talked to the secretary of homeland security, and we were talking about just the volume of tape that they have to go through for this and the eyewitness accounts. so there's a mountain of evidence. they're going through it. they want to be sure they get it right. and the public should be pleased that, you know, they're sitting there making progress one way or the other. and be a little patient at this time. >> so, congressman, i know you've been briefed a number of times. are you confident in terms of the way this investigation is proceeding based on -- i know those are confidential briefings. but do you feel confident in the way the investigation is proceeding at this point? >> my confidence stems from what i knew before this terrible tragedy occurred. it stems from being in the fugent center where the joint task force works. the federal, state and local officials, they meet every single day in person and they exchange information. just as a routine. they have the biggest exercise in all of new england and one of the biggest in all of the country last november where they went through hoip thet cals like this in training. they brought together almost 2,000 law enforcement officials. when the president of the united states tells people like myself and massachusetts that you're going to have the whole assets of the united states government to assist you, all those things together give me a very high degree of confidence that we're going to get the person that's responsible and them be brought to justice. that more than any detailed information that really shouldn't be shared with the public right now because it could jeopardyize the information. >> sure. absolutely. congressman, shifting a gears a little bit, how concerned are you and your colleagues on capitol hill and what's sort of the mood? we've heard about these letters which have initially tested positive for ricin. >> well, thank you for asking for that. just so i can include one topic matter. i think the public should be aware, since i've come back, and i think it's the same with the massachusetts members, the amount of compassion and conc n concern, genuine and heartfelt concern from other members of congress, is just hard to put into words. the people of boston should know that people all around the country are with them at this moment and really was quite moving to me. in terms of the letters that were there, i always -- let me put it this way. i always tell constituents that are trying to contact our office, go by e-mail or use the telephone or something if there's an immediacy there. there's a process in place, unfortunately, because of past incidents that have happened where those pieces of mail are screened. so that fortunately having these things in place, the good news side of it is that that's being done. with members of congress, as with the people of boston, we're not going around cowering. we're not fearful. we're doing our business. we're going forward with our lives in a resolute manner. and this has not deterred or frightened individuals here in congress just as the terrible event in the marathon in boston has not frightened the people in the boston area. >> thank you, congressman bill keating. >>> we do have breaking news from the capitol. moments ago republicans successfully filibustered a bipartisan bill on background checks. the final vote, 54 in favor of the bill. only 46 opposed. >>> coming up, the crude weapons of war from afghanistan to boston. stay with us. welcnew york state, where cutting taxes for families and businesses is our business. we've reduced taxes and lowered costs to save businesses more than two billion dollars to grow jobs, cut middle class income taxes to the lowest rate in sixty years, and we're creating tax free zones for business startups. the new new york is working creating tens of thousands of new businesses, and we're just getting started. to grow or start your business visit thenewny.com since aflac is helping with his expenses while he can't work, he can focus on his recovery. he doesn't have to worry so much about his mortgage, groceries, or even gas bills. kick! kick... feel it! feel it! feel it! nice work! ♪ you got it! you got it! yes! aflac's gonna help take care of his expenses. and us...we're gonna get him back in fighting shape. ♪ [ male announcer ] see what's happening behind the scenes at ducktherapy.com. >>> we have an update now on injuries from the boston marathon bombings. more than 170 people were injured in total. as of this afternoon 65 of them remain hospitalized. we're not used to seeing this happen on the streets of boston's back bay. but the improvised explosive devices and the wounds they inflict are all too common in war zones like afghanistan. our next guest along with film maker tim heatherington spent a year imbedded with the u.s. army platoon on the front lines. we're joined by best selling author sebastian younger. his latest work is a documentary called "which way is the front line from here?" the life and times of timothy heatherington. one of the things i've found rather chilling, we saw in boston, it was iraq and afghanistan veterans who, you know, were there to help with the injuries and knew how to treat some of these injuries. similar to the guys that you were with when you were in afghanistan. tell us about those guys. >> well, i think all soldiers are trained in front line combat medicine. and those kinds of injuries, the main priority is stopping the loss of blood. my friend tim was killed not by ied but by a mortar in libya two years ago. he died of blood loss. similar kind of injuries, amputations, that kind of thing. very similar. >> you and tim were committed to presenting such an authentic picture of soldiers on the front lines. we've learned in the aftermath of monday's bombings that, you know, these heroes, the iraqi and afghanistan veterans who happened to be on site, as you say, they knew how to react. were you surprised when you learned that it was an ied? >> well, it was a pressure cooker bomb. and the -- it was in afghanistan they bury them usually under the surface of the road. the humvee i was in was blown up by a pressure cooker bomb in 2008. i got it on video. it's the beginning of my movie. very similar device to the one in boston, i guess. no, i wasn't surprised. i mean, this is very low level technology. it's available on the internet to foreign jihadis or american malcontents. >> one of the thing that strucks me in the work you and tim have done together, the way you, again, try to present this authentic picture. that seems like that takes you this way of getting in there and earning the trust of the people that you're covering. how do you and tim -- how did you and tim do that? >> we did that by spending off and on a whole year with 30 men, a platoon. at a very remote outpost. everyone had to count on each other, including tim and myself. tim and i could not fall out on a patrol. we had to act responsibly. we gradually gained their trust because essentially we functioned like soldiers. we also were not interested in a strategic or political analysis of the war. we were solely trying to document their experience, their lives at this remote outpost. and once they figured that out, they were really, really very good with us. we actually came to be very close to them sfwl we've actually got some footage of tim heatherington in action. here he is with u.s. soldiers in afghanistan. let's take a look. >> you're always looking for those moments where the machine breaks down. where there's cracks in it. i think what happened to us in terms of being given access into this remote valley in afghanistan was that people kind of forgot about us. and i think it was that persistence going back and back that gave us such unique access. >> what do you want people to know about tim heatherington when they watch this film? >> well, a few things. i mean, first of all, i want people to understand how dangerous the job of foreign reporting is. it costs lives all the time. 28 journalists have been killed in syria alone in the past two years. tim led a big life. he was curious. he was incredibly compassionate. he wanted to know about people's lives. and he wanted to know about taxi drivers in new york city, about afghan refugees, about american soldiers, the powerful, the powerless. he wanted to understand everybody. and he captured with his video camera and with his still photography, he captured people's realities all across the world. it's a very powerful thing. >> i read something where you talked about the fact that he had a unique ability -- i think you said he was an image maker. it wasn't just about photography or video. that he really tried to bring all of these pieces together. is that what made his work so special? >> he wouldn't call himself a photographer. he said he was an image maker. he wanted to tell stories using images. his camera was just a tool to do that. i think he would have used crayons to tell stories if they had told the story more effectively. but he didn't have a particular allegiance to the camera, per se. no. >> just talking about the soldiers, i happen to have a soldier imbedded in afghanistan. tell us, what do people need to know about these men? why are they fighting? why are they there running toward the danger, being in the danger? what should we know about them? >> the guys i know from the platoon, they joined the military sometimes because of 9/11, but mostly because they wanted to experience combat. many of them had fathers in vietnam, grandfathers in world war ii. they played war when they were little boys. they got to be 18, they joined the army. they were out there because they made a personal choice. they didn't debate the poll tit of the war because it was their choice that put them out there. in the moment, in combat, they're not fighting for the flag at all. they're not fighting for this country. they're fighting for each other. they're fighting for survival is basically what they're doing. i think there's sort of a grander, loftier notions that come into play when they sit back and maybe think about why they joined the army. but in that moment in combat, it's their brothers. >> sebastian junger, thank you so much. >>> coming up, the president and first lady prepare to head to boston as the bombing investigation intensifies. 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[ male announcer ] that's handy. introducing chase liquid.ay or 2 card hassles? day relief. the reloadable card that's easy to activate and can be used right away. plus, you can load cash or checks at any chase depositfriendly atm and checks right from your smartphone. get rid of prepaid problems. get chase liquid. >>> president obama will hold a press conference at 5:30 eastern following the failure of senate bipartisan plan on background checks. let's bring in nbc white house toernt kristen welker. what can you tell us what the president is expected to say at 5:30? >> reporter: karen, he's going to react to the fact that the manchin/toomey compromise was just defeated in the senate. and i expect we will hear him make similar arguments for expanding background checks to the ones that we have heard him make in the past. you'll probably hear him reference the fact that according to polls, 90% of americans actually support expanding background checks. this is a defeat, obviously, for toomey and manchin and the senators who supported this legislation. but it's also a defeat for president obama. he, of course, made enacting stiffer gun laws one of his key goals in this second term in the wake of the newtown tragedy. he has been traveling across the country, pressing for this. meeting with newtown families. of course, the newtown families came here. they were here on capitol hill all of last week, urging senators to vote in favor of expanding background checks. but as of today, it appears that that is not going to be the case. of course, the national rifle association has launched a very powerful countercampaign to this, arguing that the amendment would limit second amendment rights for law-abiding citizens. so there was certainly a strong back and forth. but as of this hour, i think you can expect to hear president obama react to what has just happened on the senate floor. >> kristen, heading into this vote, though, we had -- it was pretty reasonable to suggest that it was not going to succeed. so was the white house -- they could not have been taken by surprise. what do we know about where they're going to go from here with their strategy? >> reporter: oh, i don't think they were taken by surprise at all. i think that that's accurate, karen. in terms of their strategy moving forward, obviously there are some other parts of the legislation that they would like to see pass, including expanding and improving mental health services for those who need it. improving security at schools across the country. so i think those are still policies that the president will push to try to have enacted. but in terms of background checks right now, it appears as though a major roadblock to that moving forward. karen? >> kristen, we know that tomorrow the president and first lady are set to travel to boston for a memorial service honoring the victims of the attack. what do we know about the president's trip at this point? >> reporter: right. well, that memorial service will be an interfaith service. that will happen about 11:00 a.m. tomorrow morning. this is something that we have seen president obama do in the past. go to communities that are grieving. we saw this after newtown, after the shooting in tucson, arizona. and he meets with the victims privately. and then speaks before a larger audience. which is essentially what we can expect to see happen tomorrow. this is when the president sort of helps communities to begin the healing process. not only by promising to give sort of the full weight and resources of the federal government in terms of the investigation, but also just in terms of helping the community to heal. so, again, the president and the first lady will be making that trip. white house press secretary jay carney just announcing today that michelle obama will be joining the president on that trip tomorrow. karen? >> during the brief, i noted that carney also talked a little bit about or previewed a little bit of the message we can expect from the president tomorrow. talk a little bit about that. >> reporter: right. well, i think that he will make the point that the federal government not only stands with the families who are suffering so much right now, but also that they will continue to. of course, you've heard the president made the argument that in these moments, they are not democrats or republicans, really there are only americans. we, of course, saw that in the wake of the tragedy in boston. you saw those first responders heading into and towards the blasts that had just happened to help the people who were suffering so much in those initial moments. so i think that you will hear president obama echo some of those comments that he has made in the past. and also really speak to the community of boston. speak about its strengths and the fact that it will persevere through this moment. karen? >> switching gears before i let you go, earlier today there was a scare at the white house. preliminary tests on a suspicious letter that was sent to president obama indicated the presence of poisonous ricin. what new information have we learned about this investigation? >> reporter: well, here's what we know at this hour, karen. very important to point out that investigators do not believe there is any link between those letters and the bombing in boston on monday. they believe those letters were sent by a person who is known to investigators. also to the same person who sent a letter containing a suspicious substance to senator wicker. also important to point out, those letters were intercepted at an off-site mail facility. so they never came close to the white house or to the capitol. they are being tested right now for secondary tests. >> nbc's kristen welker, thank you. >> reporter: thanks. >>> we'll be right back. most people think that after an accident, you'll have to pay five hundred bucks for your deductible. the truth? 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[ female announcer ] from meeting customer needs... to meeting patient needs... ♪ wireless is limitless. ♪ from finding the best way... ♪ to finding the best catch... ♪ wireless is limitless. >>> thanks so much for watching. i'm karen finny. a reminder, the president will make a statement at 5:30 p.m. eastern today. chris matthews picks up our coverage right now. >>> whoever did this obviously did not know [ muted ] about the people of boston. a city that witt stood an 86-year losing streak! a city that made it through the big dig, a construction project that backed up traffic for 16 years! they attacked the boston marathon. an event celebrates people who run 26 miles on their day off until their nipples are raw for fun! there were runners who after finishing a marathon kept running for another two miles to the hospital to donate
MSNBC
Apr 16, 2013 6:00am PDT
with us today for msnbc's continuing coverage. let's go right now though to chuck todd with "the daily rundown." ♪ >>> good morning from washington. it is a busy hour and there are developments in boston and here in washington. i'm chuck todd. in just about 30 minutes right here on "the daily rundown," we'll hear the latest from law enforcement officials in boston about the ongoing investigation into monday's bombing. we'll also talk to former senator joe lieberman about how security has changed in this country since 9/11. and former top advisor to president obama, david axelrod, about how the white house is handling this situation. >>> but we begin in boston where the back bay has been transformed into a crime scene sealed off for blocks and law enforcement try to determine who was behind monday's deadly attack at the boston marathon. of course this all began at about ten minutes to 3:00 on monday. about four hours into the race when an explosion went off just yards from the finish line. then about 15 seconds later a second explosion about 500 feet down the road. at least three people were killed in the blasts, one of them was 8-year-old martin richard whose father was in the race. his mother and sister suffered serious injuries. at least 126 people are still hospitalized. ten of them possibly as many as 17 in critical condition following the attack. >> there was cloud everywhere and, yeah, it was loud. it was really, really loud and then people just chaos everywhere. >> there was just families all around us with kids yelling and screaming and -- i mean we just wanted to try and get away as quick as possible. >> the one thing about it that made it so much worse, it was one bomb, then it was two bombs. you don't know where the bombs could be. you don't know what direction really to run in. you could run in any direction and a third one could come. >> here's what we know about the investigation now being headed by the fbi. investigators say the attack consisted of just two bombs. nbc news has learned there were no other unexplode devices. at least five suspicious packages were destroyed and dozens had to be checked. in terms of suspects, right now there is no one in custody. however, police did interview a saudi man that was hospitalized with burns. they also searched his home in the boston suburb of revere and were seen removing items in bag. two men were being searched for. at this point it is not clear if the attack ornl natuiginated ov or domestically and there's been no credible claims of responsibility. today law enforcement sealed off the site of the explosions, an area stretching a mile long and about three blocks wide. streets are closed and the copley subway station is shut down. nobody is allowed into the area while the crime scene is active. >> that area is not going to be accessible for normal traffic. there are people in hotels, people who live there who have to work out how they get to and from where they need to be. but otherwise, i think it is fair to say that area is pretty much going to be locked down. >>> now for more on the investigation, we bring in national investigative correspondent for nbc michael isikoff. he is in boston. michael, what do we know this morning? >> well, we know there is a massive investigation under way, but so far, few hard leads that anybody can seize on. overnight about a dozen law enforcement agents searched that apartment in revere where two saudis were questioned. agents left with bags of what appeared to be evidence, gym bags, trash bags, but no arrests were made. apparently they were led there by the saudi national who was questioned at the hospital fleeing from the incident. but again, no arrests are made. not clear whether there's any connection at this point. the theories range the gamut here, chuck. we all know about the significance of these dates. this week in recent law enforcement history. waco. columbine. tax day was yesterday. is there some connection there. that was one major theory of law enforcement. another one is the islamic militant jihadi lone wolf. but at this point the boston police spokeswoman just tweeted asking for patience, a sure sign that there isn't a clear lead at this point. >> that's the same feeling you get from white house officials as well. michael isikoff, following the investigation in boston for us, michael, thank you. >>> more than 140 people were injured in the blasts, including several who lost limbs. reports from mass general were that the road to recovery would be long and difficult. >> a number of patients will require repeat operations tomorrow and serial operations over the next couple of days. a lot of the injuries are combined. they're combined boning and soft tissue and vascular injuries and they have to be approached oftentimes in kind after stepwise fashion. >> ron allen is live for us at mass general this morning. ron, if there is one silver lining to any of this, it is that this took place in boston which is home to some of world class hospitals and some of the best physicians in the world. >> exactly, chuck. that was my very thought. it's also good news if we can say that that boston's a very small, compact city so these hospitals were very close to where the blasts occurred so it did not take long for patients to get where they were going. also at the finish line there were medical tents set up to help runners who were coming in late, stragglers. that's always there. so again, an easy way to start triaging patients and helping them right there at the scene which is so crucial with some of these horrific injuries. behind me you can see the entrance to mass general. they've really cleared it out in the last hour or so. this is what you see also in the back bay, copley square area of boston, where they are just trying to keep a lid on things and questioning people coming in and out of the hospitals. we understand that the authorities are questioning some of the patients here. some arrived unconscious yesterday, incoherent. presumably some are recovering and perhaps able to fill in some of the details or at least give their version of what they remember, if anything. in talking to the doctors last night, they were saying with most of the patients, they were just doing business as usual trying to deal with the injuries and the situation at hand and not trying to glean too much information from the patients. i lived in boston for a long time. i covered a lot of these mayor thon marathons, there is a people people are just stunned. that's obvious perhaps but really this is such a brought city and so proud of this day, patriots' day and the marathon here. it is just stunning that this would happen. beyond the blast scene, things are going back to normal. there are some warnings about being random searches on subways and what have you, but again just a stunning event. people today i still think are walking around trying to digest all this and of course praying for the victims in the hospitals. >> we all want answers to try to figure out why. ron allen at mass general, we'll check back in. thank you, sir. >>> so let's get to the "why." we want to get more on the investigation. pete williams is nbc's justice correspondent. michael leiter is former direction of the national counterterrorism center. pete, this morning we've heard a lot about this individual who was questioned overnight and then his home was searched. we heard michael isikoff mention that it's actually two saudis that have been investigated, but this doesn't appear to be -- >> they were the two that were in his apartment. right. >> there doesn't appear to be much to this, right? spl well, it's too soon to know. there have been some conflicting accounts about what he was doing right before and right after the bombing. he was seen running from the scene. well, of course a lot of people were. but he had severe burns. apparently his clothing was on fire. and that means that he was obviously standing very close to one of the devices. so that makes him suspicious in the minds of some people. he's been questioned. one official told me this morning -- i said could it turn out that he was just an innocent bystander and the official said, yes, it could. but nonetheless, just to show how thorough this investigation is, they got a search warrant and they searched his apartment. he's a 20-year-old from saudi arabia. he's here on a currently valid student visa, but we fully expected this search last night, that they would be looking very thoroughly into his background. he has been talking to them. he's been denying that he had anything to do with it, showing great sympathy for people. but it's something that they just have to check out. all these things they have to check out. the witness accounts who said they thought they saw some man with a hoodie running away from the scene before the bomb went off. so there's a request for information about that. people saw a truck in the area. they want to know about that. a lot of the stuff's going to wash out. it is very early on in the investigation. so where it goes from here is to look at pieces of the bomb that they're finding and they're very small, of course. but it's astonishing how much they'll be able to tell from the composition of the devices based on small pieces. i'm sure that later today we'll know probably what the explosive was, whether it was a high explosive -- doesn't seem like it was. whether it was something like smokeless powder, commonly called gun powder. could be that. but those pieces will start to come in to play. now at the same time, just to show you how thorough this is, they're not allowing any cars that were in the area, in parking garages in the area, to leave. all that stuff is on lockdown. the whole scene -- >> they've essentially impounded the perimeter. >> exactly. nothing can leave there until they look at it. they want to see if anything has residue on it. they want to just be as thorough as they possibly can. this scene is being descended upon by the best bomb investigators that federal and state and local governments have that will literally be on their hand and knees looking over every square inch of that area. >> michaelle, i assume today is about two major pieces of information. one is what pete was describing, putting basically the bomb back together, doing that. the other is, because there's so much video footage, i assume that there's somebody sitting at ctc there frame by frame by frame. >> on the bomb, i agree. we will a have a much better sense by the close of today. with the video i expect that to take a bit longer time. city of boston has cameras. lots of businesses. hotels. they have video. you're going to have to get video from a wide, wide have right -- >> i would be shocked if this person is not on camera somewhere. >> yes. i'll be shocked if they're not. but investigators will have to go through hours and hours and hours of tapes from multiple sources and they'll see lots of people but they won't know who's actually suspicious necessarily until they connect it with something else. >> another thing that i assume is happening -- i assume this happened after the underwear bomber -- you didn't see -- there was no chatter at the time that seemed to tell people you got to ramp up security but now i assume all intelligence reports, are people going back through them now on various wiretaps and things like that? >> the christmas day bomber is a really interesting case, because although we didn't see specific chatter as it is known about this bomber, attacking that aircraft, we actually did see talk and chatter about something potentially happening. we just didn't know what. and it was only after the fact that we could put together the bomber with what we had seen before. so the first piece they're going to look for is did we already collect something. >> did we know something that we didn't quite understand. >> that's what they were talking about. that's the first step. after that they're going to go back through and see were there things that we've collected that no one even saw, understood at the time. and then it's going to all those new sources and saying what do you know now. >> pete, one of the things that's -- and maybe we're being unfair here but i think there's a sense of shock that we don't know more now. yes, we're only 18 hours removed from the attack, but we're so used to knowing things so quickly. are investigators surprised at how little they know at this point in time? >> not people who have worked a bombing investigation, no. think about how long it took to figure out who did the olympic park bombing in 1996? that that was eric rudolph? took a fair amount of time, well over a month to figure out who placed a backpack that didn't go off in spokane, washington three years ago that was left along the martin luther king parade route. >> how long did that investigation take? >> that took several months. it took probably at least three or four weeks before they were on to suspected white supremacist. that's when you had an intact device that didn't go off. you knew exactly how it was made, exactly -- >> a hard piece of evidence. >> well, you had an intact piece of evidence. there's evidence here but it is all in little tiny pieces. so, no, that's not surprising. these things do take time. unless you luck out and find a witness or someone who comes forward. this will take time. >> michael, you've been very hesitant about talking about guts and hunches. however, did you say something this morning on the "today" show that caught my eye when you said, you assume this person has ties to boston in some way. explain. >> i think so. my point about gut and hunches, those are good. you just can't allow it to rule out anything else. then you'll make a mistake. my hunch and gut in this case, patriots' day and the boston marathon is iconic to a lot of people but the way these bombs were set off, right at the end of the race, very close to the time where the most people would be there, this suggests to me some real familiarity with boston, new england. so that doesn't tell you if it is domestic or international but it does suggest at least to me initially that the people who are behind this, the person who's behind this, has some ties to that region. >> is there a pattern in this respect -- an international terrorist wants credit publicly is going to be jumping up and down. a domestic terrorist wants to be in hiding and doesn't. is that a general pattern at all to be looking at here? >> i think that is fair at a really general level. the problem is we can't work totally in generalities. it is this case. generally when international terrorists have been successful they've claimed responsibility but they've also claimed responsibilities for things that they didn't do so we really have to filter through all that and the government will very carefully. >> michael leiter, thank you, sir. pete williams. >>> back on the phones, my friend. as we said, the fbi's taking the lead in this investigation and we expect to get an update from them in just about 15 minutes. >>> we also just learned that massachusetts governor duvall patrick will be at that briefing as well. we'll bring it to you live as soon as it happens. >>> up next i'm joined by former connecticut senator and homeland security chairman joe lieberman. all stations come over to mission a for a final go. this is for real this time. step seven point two one two. verify and lock. command is locked. five seconds. three, two, one. standing by for capture. the most innovative software on the planet... dragon is captured. is connecting today's leading companies to places beyond it. siemens. answers. for those nights when it's more than a bad dream, be ready. for the times you need to double-check the temperature on the thermometer, be ready. for high fever, nothing works faster or lasts longer. be ready with children's motrin. ♪ i've got the power people lose 5x more weight following the weight watchers approach than trying on their own. you can too. ♪ ♪ you've got the power ♪ ♪ oh, yeah ♪ get the power the new weight watchers 360 program. ♪ whoo! join for free and check out the new risk free guarantee today. because it works. >>> it's the first large-scale bombing in a u.s. city since the september 11th attacks. it is a reminder that though the homeland security apparatus has taken big strides in the past dozen years, real challenges always remain. former connecticut senator joe lieberman is the former chairman of the homeland security committee. played, of course, a crucial role in the development of the department of homeland security and he joins me now. senator lieberman, good morning to you. >> morning, chuck. >> just a fundamental question. if you were in your role right now, what would be among the first pieces of information that you haven't heard any of us report now that you would like to know to sort of help you understand what's going on? >> i think -- look, the important question here is what are the law enforcement -- federal, state and local authorities doing and i'm confident they're doing everything we could want them to do. so i think you've all been reporting exactly what should be reported at this point. i think there's probably been a little too much attention given to why the president didn't use the worse terrorist yesterday. i think his statement was very strong, very reassuring. really it is a distraction to ask about what it was called. the question is who did it and what are we doing to apprehend that person. of course for me, when i first heard about this yesterday afternoon, it was a nightmare come true, which was the nightmare that i've had since 9/11, which was that there would be another terrorist attack at a mass event, a sports event, a mall or something of that kind. and of course, a lot of other sports events -- baseball games, football games, et cetera now have magnetometers or advices like that on the way in. so i worry that somebody thought about this and struck at the boston marathon, because though there was plenty of security there, it is not a controlled event in the way a stadium-based event is. >> you are bringing up some issues that i wonder, is this going to be the natural thing that comes out of this no matter -- we're still trying to figure out who, why, but set that aside, whether domestic, whether international, do you believe we're going to become more securitized around the country? >> well, the good news -- reassure something a better word -- after the tragedy yesterday is that we've become much more securitized than we were on 9/11. all the post-9/11 commission agencies, look, there was an incident command center set up. there was a lot of work done by federal, state and local law enforcement to get ready for the boston marathon. very hard event to control. when it happened, they sprang right into action and i think that probably saved a lot of lives. probably also improves the prospect that they're going to apprehend who was caught. the department of homeland security brought together a lot of agencies that work together. they're in control, if you will, of the airport, with the customs and border protection, tsa, they got the coast guard right in boston harbor. but yes -- and all those private video cameras that are up there which will help apprehend the wrong doer here. i think one thing that's going to happen -- it's very difficult, we're not going to stop holding marathons in this country but there's going to be more security an more control at some of the points where people mass at an event like a marathon. >> it would seem as if we have an intelligence apparatus, a security apparatus that's really good at identifying and going after international terrorists cells around the world. but what is the line between trying to protect americans from the lone wolf and the longer we don't know something, it seems as if i've talked to security officials who are now just assuming that the longer we don't know, the more likely this is a lone wolf. whether domestic or international motivated, but the lone wolf type of scenario. can you secure for that and is that going down a rabbit hole where you can nyou can never se it? >> well, you can do a lot to secure and we've done a lot about. but the lone wolf is always the most difficult to track down. the two successful terrorist attacks in america since 9/11 were carried out by lone wolves. one was nidal hasan who killed 14 people at ft. hood, the other was carlos bledsoe in little rock, arkansas. both in 2009. walked into a army recruiting station and killed a recruiter just because he had a u.s. army uniform on. but we are doing a lot to deal with the lone wolf. the fbi which has developed an extraordinary domestic counterterrorism capability since 9/11 has various ways in which they look to apprehend, to catch, to be able to see a lone wolf before they strike. in the end, the best defense against a lone wolf always will be friends, family, people in the community who say something's wrong with this person, they're going bad. it is the old see something, say something, call the cops right away. >> senator joe lieberman, i got to leave it there. a man who's basically one of the founders of the homeland security department. always good to have your perspective on. >> good to be with you. >>> cities across the country on high alert this morning. we've seen it here in washington outside the white house, pennsylvania avenue's once again closed to pedestrians as president obama promises to hunt down whoever is responsible. former obama senior advisor david axelrod will join me next. acceler-rental. at a hertz expressrent kiosk, you can rent a car without a reservation... and without a line. now that's a fast car. it's just another way you'll be traveling at the speed of hertz. if you've got it, you know how hard it can be to breathe and man, you know how that feels. copd includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. spiriva is a once-daily inhaled copd maintenance treatment that helps open my obstructed airways for a full 24 hours. you know, spiriva helps me breathe easier. spiriva handihaler tiotropium bromide inhalation powder does not replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms. tell your doctor if you have kidney problems, glaucoma, trouble urinating, or an enlarged prostate. these may worsen with spiriva. discuss all medicines you take, even eye drops. stop taking spiriva and seek immediate medical help if your breathing suddenly worsens, your throat or tongue swells, you get hives, vision changes or eye pain, or problems passing urine. other side effects include dry mouth and constipation. nothing can reverse copd. spiriva helps me breathe better. does breathing with copd weigh you down? 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seconds. >>> addressing the nation from the white house hours after the explosion, president obama praised boston as a tough and resilient town. >> we still do not know who did this or why and people shouldn't jump to conclusions before we have all the facts. but, make no mistake, we will get to the bottom of this and we will find out who did this, we'll find out why they did this. any responsible individuals, any responsible groups, will feel the full weight of justice. >> president was careful not to use the word terrorism to describe the attack. a white house official said any event with multiple explosive devices is clearly an act of terror. of course with the fbi in the lead it is being approached as one. the president received updates overnight from his assistant, lisa monaco. she's new to that position. she'll be briefed by the active fbi director, robert mueller. >>> david axelrod, you've been in the room for this. this issue of having the president publicly speak reassuring the country, and yet you don't have all the facts at the same time. >> that's the tension. >> explain this tension. >> first, we have some experience with this because you'll remember back when the underwear bomber incident happened, the president delayed speaking to the nation until more facts were gathered and -- >> it was a rational way to think. >> it is. but the fact is that there is a ministerial element to the presidency. people need to hear the president of the united states say we're doing everything that needs to be done and we're going to hold the people responsible accountable and what we learned in that incident was, you better do it quickly. don't wait. and so there's the tension between getting the president out there to play that role and the need to gather facts and in this case, facts are slow to come. so i have some sympathy for the position he was in yesterday. >> i got that sense that there was this frustration that he didn't have more facts at hand and i think, frankly, talk to those investigators in boston. everybody is frustrated at how little it seems is known at this point. they seem -- i was told that the reason he -- they debated whether to use certain words. i know that does matter. and because when the president says terrorist attack, that's a whole lot cleaner than what dianne feinstein says it. >> absolutely. and the word has taken on a different meaning since 9/11. you use those words and it means something very specific in people's mind. i'm sure what was going through the president's mind is -- we really don't know who did this. it was tax day. you just don't know. and so i think his attitude is, let's not put any inference into this. let's just make clear that we're going to get the people responsible. >> does anybody he could say could be pre-judged. >> these are live pictures at the podium. we'll spent an update from the governor of massachusetts. lisa monaco now in this role, john brennan's at the cia. explain the role of the counterterrorism advisor for the white house. >> they're the funnel through which a lot of the information goes to the president. they're gathering information from all sources. >> cia, internationally -- >> all of it flows through that person. this is the president's right hand person on all of these national security matters -- terrorism. so she's funneling this information to the president. he's counting on her to gather all of this, synthesize it and keep him up to date. i'm sure she had a sleepless night last night as investigators were poring through not just what they were finding but tapes, as mike leiter was talking about. it is a needle in a haystack kind of a situation. >> all of this of course disrupts the politics of what was going on today. today we expected both guns and immigration to be the -- so on one hand that stuff still goes on. on the other hand, the president's focus no doubt is going to be on this. at least -- >> one thing about the presidency, chuck, is that you're juggling all these things always. there's no -- you don't have the ability to put everything aside and just focus on one thing. that's why it's such a difficult job. that's why i have respect for anybody who's sat in that chair. because no matter how serious a crisis you face, there are always three other things that are important that you can't simply ignore. i'm sure that el he's be intermittently meeting on other issues today, even as lisa monaco and bob mueller and others come in to keep him up to date on this investigation. >> we know capitol hill has delayed the immigration -- but senator schumer and mccain will be going to the white house to brief the president himself. the gun bill has been delayed a couple of days. one, it didn't have the votes and, two, concern that something like this can overshadow and make it easier for -- >> i think that this will completely eclipse every other story. i'm sure proponents of the gun safety measures didn't want this done in the darkness. they want a spotlight on this debate because large number of americans support these background checks. they want maximum pressure on these senators to vote for them and that's not going to happen when all the news is about what happened -- the tragedy in boston. >> take us a little bit more inside the white house here as we are waiting for this press conference to start. that is, so the president's got lisa monaco. this stuff's being done in the situation room. there are staffers in there that are pouri iporing over this dat well. >> it's all pouring in there. she works out of a window less room -- >> feels like a bunker. i've been in that office. >> -- in the basement. yeah. i think the sense of urgency is palpable down there. also, just backtracking a little, when the president made his statement, it's kind of a fire drill with the speech writers to get the statement together, to check the statement with the national security people, to check the statement with the white house counsel, and then for the president to review it, all within a matter of minutes. everything works at warped speed, even as information comes in painfully slowly. >> it seemed as if the president also was sure -- he wanted to brief all the congressional leaders before he spoke to the public. seemed like there was a whole checklist. is it almost like a checklist of things -- >> sadly, there is a protocol that's developed through hard experience. >> all right. david axelrod, senior advisor, former senior advisor to the president, a helpful hand to us on days like this. thank you. >> great to be with you. >>> joining me now, the chairman of the house homeland security, republican from new york, peter king. congressman king, i know that you're probably in the same position as a lot of folks at the white house and in boston, little frustrated about what little we do know. do you know any new information this morning? have you had a briefing yet? >> i am not chairman of the subcommittee. mike mccall is chairman of the full committee. but in any event, i've been through this many times before, unfortunately. everybody wants the quick answer. the fact is i would rather be safe than sorry. i would rather have the investigators go through all the evidence. it is less than 24 hours and i think there is a lot of evidence there to go through, components of the explosive devices, the whole video cameras and also any information they're picking up. anything -- if someone saw something and are now saying something. i saw mike leiter was on before going back over previous phone conversations, previous intelligence that maybe was not thought to be important but now will have a different light to it. >> are you surprised -- you were talking earlier about how you had gotten a briefing just last week and nobody brought up even -- every once in a while there is chatter that you get briefed about that turns out to be nothing. but there was nothing like this having to do with the boston marathon? >> no, there was absolutely nothing at all involving boston. i've checked with other police departments who were in contact. also the boston police department had nothing at all. so neither at the federal nor the local level. all i would say on that though is, federal people can only find out so much. that's why in new york -- i don't know what procedure they follow in boston -- but i know in new york, that's why ray kelly has 1,000 police officers working on counterterrorism so they can be out in the communities monitoring what's happening. often that's where you pick something else. but again we'll have to wait and see but these are professionals. unfortunately, one of the things we perfected since 9/11 is being absolute experts in going after terrorism, finding out hot terrorists were and the boston police, fbi, all of them will do an outstanding job. >> is our apparatus better capable of dealing with international incidents than domestic incidents? >> yeah. in fact, we pretty much shut down the international terrorist attacks. that's why al qaeda has now morphed and in many ways, al qaeda is more dangerous than it was prior to 9/11 because they've metastasized into mini groups and they also have supporters here in the u.s., some of whom they work with over the internet, others are self-radicalized. the times square bomber in 2010. the subway bomber in 2009. there was nothing on these people at all. yet they were involved in terrorist attacks. and any number of other people who have been stopped operating out of their basement, putting bombs together. yeah, it's a different level of threat. different type of threat. >> what's the line on security and freedom whether it comes to trying to secure americans from a lone wolf without disrupting their freedoms? >> yeah. listen, i don't -- my idea that the right to privacy is when you are in a private setting. if you're out in public, i don't believe you have the right to assume that anything is private. that's why i believe having these cameras on street corners the way they have in london, the way they have in lower manhattan in new york and they're working their way up through midtown. if you're in public, anyone else can look at you. if a camera can give a better look, that's what has to be done. i know it is a very, very effective tool that the nypd uses as far as tracking license plates, tracking people on street corners, tracking colors. they can do virtually anything with those cameras. i think that's something -- again, so long as it is in public, doesn't go into a private setting, doesn't require a search warrant, i think we have to do it. terrorists are trying to stay ahead of us. we have to at least stay even with them. >> you're not concerned we're going to overly secure, make it to going to a sporting event becomes almost impossible? >> no. i think first of all, it's not going to be impossible. we can adapt. it's important to have cameras. it's important to have intelligence. that's why what the nypd has done going out into communities, monitoring areas where they think they can gather intelligence is absolutely essential. ask the parents of that 8-year-old -- talk to people who have lost somebody in one of these terrorist incidents. they say would you rather have your loved one dead or have a camera on a telephone pole? i think they'd take the camera on the telephone pole. >> peter king, we're having a press conference now with the governor and the mayor. i will turn it over to governor patrick. it's the mayor who was wheeled in. he's been of course in a hospital recovering. >>> thank you for coming this morning. less than 24 hours after yesterday's act of terror, we wanted to organize a briefing for you with the information that we have. the mayor is here. the members of our congressional delegation. all of the law enforcement leadership. we have several people we want to present to you this morning and take your questions. i told you yesterday that the fbi has taken charge of the investigation. special agent in charge rick delorea will speak shortly. it's important to clarify that two, and only two, explosive devices were found yesterday. other parcels -- all other parcels in the area of the blast have been examined but there are no unexplode bombs. there were no explosive devices found. over 150 people were injured yesterday in the blast. some gravely. our thoughts go out to all of those injured and killed and to their families and friends. i personally want to thank the extraordinary first responders for their just extraordinary work yesterday. every single one of them -- those who were on site and those who got to the site promptly thereafter performed beautifully, as have the area hospitals. i've been calling around to the heads of the hospitals personally to thank them as well. it's our hope that tomorrow we will organize an interfaith prayer service to help our community heal. we don't have details on that yet but we will provide those details when we have them. there is a support center that was opened yesterday in what we call the castle opposite the park plaza hotel on arlington and stewart street, i think it is. the mayor and his -- has provided staff to help people cope with this extraordinary event and it will be open from 9:00 i think until 5:00 beyond this evening. finally, everyone should expect continued heightened police presence and everyone should continue personally to be vigilant. the investigation continues and until it is done, all of those in law enforcement represented by the leaders here will be present in force in the area around the blast and throughout the city. and with that let me turn it over to the mayor. >> thank you, governor. yesterday the terrorists brought to the city of boston. tragedy was brought to one of our neighbors, also. this is a closese-knit place, t city of boston. we grieve for our neighbors and for the little boy from dorchester. but we also know our heroes, the men and women who wear helmets, badges, the runners who helped us yesterday during this time of need. as we go together on this issue with all the law enforcement officials, we're going to make sure the city pulls together. we will get it under control. let's continue to work together. let's keep offering a helping hand to individuals who may need it during this very difficult time in our city's history. ive he's been mayor for 20 years now. i've never seen law enforcement pull together, working together to solve our crime and our city as they have but also to help people pull together, business community, neighbors, everyone. this is a tragedy but boston is a strong city. we're a city that will get through this. like the governor said, we set up a resource center over at the castle near the park plaza hotel where staff will be there available to give information to individuals who have been involved in the marathon. it is open from 9:00 to 5:00. phone number is 635-5040, i believe. and our hotline number is 617-534-50- 617-534-5050. also a 24-hour hotline -- 617-635-4500. over the last several hours we received calls from all over the world asks us information about the tragedy, how they could help us. so this is a bad day for boston but i think if we pull together we'll get through it. we are a strong city. lot of people willing to work together to make this a better place for all our people. and so as we gather here today with all our officials, let's say boston will overcome. >> thank you, mr. mayor. senator? >> thank you, governor. thank you, mr. mayor. the president of the united states has pledged his full support in all efforts, both to keep the city safe and to find the person who did this and bring them to justice. we did not have to reach out to the president. the president reached out to us. he called the governor, he called the mayor, he called the members of the delegation because the president is actively involved here and responding. on behalf of our congressional delegation, senator cowen is here with me and congressman lynch and all the members of our delegation. we want to extend our thanks to the first responders, to the firefighters, to the police officers, to the ems, to everyone on the scene, including the volunteers who came and helped those in trouble and helped save lives. we also want to thank those from all around the country and all around the world whose prayers and thoughts and offers of help have poured in. we are deeply grateful. as the fair says, boston will survive. >> thank you. i'm the special agent in charge of the fbi's boston division. i would like to start this morning by thanking the first responders from boston ems and boston fire department and the volunteer physicians, nurses and medical staff from the community who volunteered at the marathon. their services and heroic actions saved lives yesterday afternoon. we continue to work shoulder to shoulder with our partners at boston police department, the massachusetts state police, as well as all our other jttf agencies. our mission is clear -- bring to justice those responsible for the boston marathon bombing. the american public wants answers, the citizens of the city and commonwealth of massachusetts want answers. this dedicated group of men and women standing before you today will do everything possible to get those answers. this remains a very active investigation. our ongoing investigation in various locations throughout the area goes on. however there are no known additional threats. we continue to interview various witnesses and process the crime scene which could take some time. the citizens of massachusetts and the city of boston should expect to see the fbi and its jttf partners conducting investigative activity in the greater eastern massachusetts and boston area. assistance from the public remains critical in establishing a timeline of events which leads to swift conclusion through due diligence and strong investigative activity. we commend the public. we commend the citizens of boston and the citizens of the commonwealth of massachusetts for the information that's been provided to law enforcement so far, and we strongly encourage that assistance to continue. it is paramount to explain the fbi and our jttf role to a greater extent. the volume of tips we have received in reiterating the resources we provide. we've received voluminous tips over the last 18 hours since the incidents. we have staffed our 1-800-call-fbi tip line and we continue to encourage individuals to contact that line with any additional tips. we are bringing additional victim assistance and evidence response team resources from our headquarters components and other field offices to boston and they are on site working as we speak processing evidence at the crime scene. to the extent that the crime scene still plays in copley perimeter continues to be a crime scene, it may be for a couple of days. you'll see us and our law enforcement partners interviewing maybe your neighbor or co-worker or even yourself in coming days. please cooperate with law enforcement authorities. the resources the fbi and jttf allow for swift action which will hopefully yield yick results but that does in the diminish our diligence and persistence in combing through the high volume of evidence and leads that we are processing right now. we are just beginning upon that path. thank you very much. >> i'm gene marquez, acting special agent in charge, atf, boston field division. at this time atf has done a don partial national response team activation. we're bringing explosives specialists here to the scene and we'll be working jointly with fbi and partners. we have certified explosive specialists. we have explosives enforcement officers. special agent bomb techs and canines for devices or any residue. at this time, we have approximately 30 forensic specialists in, around or on the scene, and to dispel any rumors, there were -- there were rumors floating around there were up to seven devices at one point. that is not true. i think that happened as a result of some suspect packages that were disrupted. but we only have two devices that we're aware of and both of those devices were the ones that involved -- that did the damage and were involved in the explosives incident. at this time, we're looking for the public's cooperation. we're looking if there's any video, any photographic evidence. if you can please contact the fbi hotline or the city's hod line, we'd like to review any kind of media you have out there. might give us additional investigative leads and we are pursuing those investigative leads at this time. the scene is going to take several days to process. we ask your patience as we're working in that area and for your cooperation. >> good morning. i'm united states attorney carmen ortiz. first, i want to extend my condolences to the families of the loved ones who were lost in yesterday's attack. on the city of boston. as well as those that were hurt and may still be fighting for their lives. our thoughts and our prayers go out to them. what happened yesterday was a terrible tragedy. yet it was amazing to see as you have heard from my colleagues here how people just helped one another. ran toward the blast. just to assist another person in greater need. people who were just there for those that were hurt and in a dire situation. it was amazing to see how the city of boston, the people -- and people from around the world that were part of yesterday's boston marathon helped one another, con doled each other. there are so many moving parts to an investigation such as this. and i can't begin to thank everyone's w.h.o.'s been involved. law enforcement, emergency personnel, first responders and really regular citizens who became heroes yesterday. i want to repeat as i stated yesterday that this is an active and it's an ongoing investigation. but rest assured that we are bringing all of the necessary resources to assist in this matter. and that we will conduct all that we can with all of our law enforcement partners. i've been in touch with the attorney general several times. eric holder. he's pledged all the resource from the department and others on behalf of the federal government to help boston recover from yesterday. i ask for your patience and your understanding as we continue to pursue leads, to gather evidence and to get to the bottom of who did this and why. thank you. >> good morning. my name is ed davis, i'm police commissioner for the city of boston. we are in the process of securing and processing the most complex crime scene that we have dealt with in the history of our department. we are doing that under the direction of the fbi and in partnership with the atf. we've secured the perimeter with members of the national guard and the general is here. i'd like to thank the people working closely with us. we've received offers of assistance from chicago, los angeles, units responded here from new york city and baltimore. and we are working very closely with all of our partners on this complex investigation. i want to stress that the area around the crime scene which was yesterday was 15 blocks has been reduced to about 12 blocks this point in time and we'll continue to collapse that crime scene as the facts and circumstances make that available. we want to open up as many streets and get people in to their buildings as quickly as we can. we're working diligently on that but please be patient with us in the time that we need to process the crime scene. we expect that scene going for another two days anyway and people should make appropriate plans. again, i want to stress that any information that you have, any videos, photographs that happened, not just at that scene, but anywhere in the immediate vicinity could be helpful to this investigation. our focus is on processing that evidence right now. and we're looking forward to working with our partners to bring the individuals who are responsible for this heinous crime to justice. thank you. >> thank you, commissioner. colonel. hold on. you clean up. >> good morning. my name is timothy albin, superintendent of the massachusetts state police. as i said, earlier in one of our briefings, there's really two or three parts to this investigation. there's the investigative part and clearly the fbi has taken the lead on but there's also a logistical and presence component of this. so, i'm speaking to the public. you are going to see an enhanced presence from the boston police, from the state police, from the national guard and from our law enforcement partners through the metropolitan boston area over the next days and probably longer. that's not for any particular reason other than to provide some comfort and to the public who are using transportation centers or going about their business. so, we are engaged with the mbta police in the t. you will see more troopers, you will see national guards men there and mbta police like you do every day but that presence will be significantly enhanced. we are doing that for the comfort of the public. we're looking for cooperation from the public. it's not to inconvenience anyone and we don't think that it will be. you might see an enhanced presence at logan airport, as well. that's not for a particular reason other than to solicit cooperation of the public an seek out tips or information. the last thing i want to say is there has to be hundreds if not thousands of photographs or videos or observations that were made down at that finish line yesterday. and they're sitting out there amongst everyone that's watching this event this morning. and i would encourage you to bring forward anything you might not think it's significant but it might have some value to this investigation. the mayor's given you tip lines. there are plenty of those. the fbi has them, as well. if you call in, i assure you that someone will follow up on the photographs or videos to submit for consideration. thank you very much. >> good morning. my name is daniel conley, the district attorney here in boston. what occurred yesterday in boston was an act of cowardice. while there will be an opportunity in the future at the conclusion of this investigation to official define this act, make no mistake. an act of cowardice can only be answered. to that end, some of the finest investigators at the local, state and federal levels have been working through the night to not only conduct interviews and process the scene but to ensure that those interviews are legally sound and that the evidence is recovered with the greatest care. at the same time, police and other law enforcement agencies have been actively working to ensure the safety of our city. at this point, the loss that we have suffered is enormous but thanks to the efforts of emts, police officers, firefighters, volunteers, ordinary citizens and of course doctors, nurses and the medical staff at boston's world class hospitals, we can say with absolute certainty that more lives were saved. for this, we can all give thanks. in the days and weeks to come, we will do our very best to keep the public and the media apprised and advised of the progress of this investigation and our work. it is important, however, for the sake of the victims and of the city that our investigators be given the room to do their jobs so that the truth can be found and so that justice can be served. moments like this and our response to them define who we are. in the past 24 hours this city of boston has shown its strength, its compassion and its determination to see justice done. >> thank you, dan. we're happy to take questions. we'll try to take as many questions as you have so maybe we'll just go from side to side if that's -- yeah? >> what reassured there will not be more attacks? is there any specific evidence? >> more than the evidences
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Apr 17, 2013 12:00pm PDT
eye level. so perhaps that gives more after bird's-eye view. >> pete williams, we know you are busy working phones so we will let you bet back to it. let's get to former nypd, tom, what do you make of the latest information that's coming out? >> well, it's exactly what's been said all along the law enforcement will put the pieces of the puzzle together. they will slowly and meticulously go through not only forensic evidence, the bomb, the remnants of the bomb in a crime scene type of way and give it to atf to put together. because that's what those guys do and those what those guys do well. then what they are going to do is look at surveillance cameras. we know from lord & taylor that is right there on boyleston street, they will go through the film and they may have the person of interest that may have placed the bombs. the video is probably newer quality and a newer brand and give law enforce amount good eye's view on who put the bomb's down and mabybe even a facial shot of who did it. >> is this where the see video e evidence used to identify person and then more definitive infor
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Apr 16, 2013 5:00pm PDT
of people out for that. from washington, we have nbc news justice correspondent, pete williams. thank you so much for being with us. it to get to the investigation and what we know, the latest on that, but first, i want to begin with these ricin reports. a letter sent to roger wicker did test positive. how serious should we take this? what are the odds of a false positive? i'd like to get a little context before we start ringing the alarm bell. >> let's understand what the results come from. all mail to the u.s. capitol is sent to an off sight facility where it's tested for all kinds of things. the envelope was found, pulled out of the mail supply and a field test was done. it was also positive, but these tests i must say, are oftentimes wrong. we've had field tests on mail at the capitol that have tested positive for ricin. i remember one at a mail sorting machine that testing positive and it was paper dust from the mail machine. they take the material, they send it to a lab where it's cultured and then they'll see if there is actually ricin and if there is, then it's a pretty seriou
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Apr 18, 2013 12:00pm PDT
williams. pete, after yesterday's confusion, yesterday and this morning even, it seems everyone is sort of on the same page now. what's the latest you've got for us? >> well, i think the fbi is having this news conference is they want to show some pictures. these are pictures of two men that they're most eager to identify, find, and interview based on their review of all the mountain of pictures they've received. it's really quite extraordinary when you think about it that the fbi made this request for pictures. they were inundated with an amount of data equivalent to 25,000 hours of youtube video. what they got was higher resolution, so it's not that many hours but that gives you the idea of the sheer tonnage of vehicle and they managed to look at great deal of that and hone in on two people whose movements and behavior have raised some questions that they would like to answer. they want to try to find these people. so far they've not been able. they can clearly see their faces, but they don't know their names. they don't know who they are. they want to try to find out who they ar
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Apr 18, 2013 1:00pm PDT
justice correspondent pete williams from washington and nbc's kristen welker at the white house. pete, i'm going to start with you. what are we expecting to hear at this fbi briefing within the next hour? >> we're going to hear, i believe, why they're interested in these two particular people. what it is they've done. what they can be seen doing that attracts their attention and raises their interest and why they want to find and talk to them. they know what they look like. they know what they were doing. the fbi has always thought that the bombs were carried to the scene in black nylon duffel bags or backpacks. they an see on these pictures the men, these two men carrying heavy backpack and duffel bag. they believe the bombs were relatively heavy, probably around 20 pounds. they were in the vicinity of where the bombs were found. so, where they were set off. so they want to find them. they don't know who they are, and they're going to ask for public assistance, we believe, in identifying the men. and you may remember that they asked for both photos and video. so it's certainly possible th
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Apr 19, 2013 10:00am PDT
tsarnaev. nbc's pete williams reports he was run over by the car driven by his brother. and when police approached his body, they discovered an ied strapped to his chest. he was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. let's bring in nbc national investigative correspondent, michael isikoff. let's talk about what we foe in the scene right now. the police have said they have new leads within the last few minutes that they are exploring and that they want everyone to stay inside. >> exactly. a pretty good sign that this situation is still very fluid, still very tense. and we don't know where it's going or how long the manhunt is going to be taking place. i should point out, andrea, that i am right behind what is the principal staging area for the police and the military here. all morning long we had convoys of military humvees coming in, buses of police, motorcycles, of state police, blackhawk helicopters have been flying in and over this area. landing just behind me on the other side. at one point i thought it looked to me like there they were planning for some sort of a
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Apr 16, 2013 3:00am PDT
♪ >>> the first explosion occurred, and it was kind of like a sound i'd never heard before. it shook you right to the core. and then trying to figure out what happened. we saw the smoke and then the second explosion occurred and at that point, it was pandemonium. >> i got within about a block and then i saw an explosion of white smoke and the loudest noise i've ever heard in my life. and even though i was almost a block away, the concussion from that was just stunning. it's disorienting. and i think everyone around me too, we just kind of looked at each other. >> a time when the world's most prestigious marathon, 26.2 miles, 23,000 athletes, a half million cheering fans, but this year, marathon monday will be remembered for the devastation that ripped apart a day of triumph and joy. >> at 2:50 yesterday afternoon, two bombs just seconds apart exploded near the finish line of the boston marathon. thick, white smoke only temporarily masked the carnage that was left behind. scores of people, runners, children, volunteers were left bloodied and dazed by the incredible strength of the blasts. first responders who had been treating cases of dehydration and blisters were suddenly faced with what looked like a war zone. with screams hanging in the air, they delivered emergency first aid that in many cases saved lives for those who were there, it was absolutely surreal. >> you just heard a loud boom and no one knew exactly what it was. but it stopped everyone. >> the ground shook. i mean, my legs didn't stop shaking. >> i've got that image and that sound. i'll never forget the sound and the imagery i saw when i approached. >> as soon as that second one went off, it was complete mayhem. >> everything going through my head was this is an attack, this is not an accident. this does not happen, two can't happen within 15 seconds. >> you don't know what direction really to run in. you could run in any direction and a third one could come. if there was one and there was two, there could be three and there could be four. >> at least three people were killed by the bombs. among them, an 8-year-old boy. more than 120 people were injured. many of whom are now listed in critical condition. president obama spoke from the white house yesterday evening. >> we still do not know who did this or why. and people shouldn't jump to conclusions before we have all the facts. but make no mistake, we will get to the bottom of this. and we will find out who did this, we'll find out why they did this. any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice. >> a theme of this year's race was 26 miles for 26 victims. a message of remembrance of the newtown school shooting. many of the victims' family members were there at the finish line tent yards from where the blasts occurred. you can imagine that, it is tuesday, april 16th, and we're live in boston this morning, just about five blocks from the site of double bombing, those explosions yesterday near the finish line of the boston marathon. joining us now we have with us for the whole show today, mike barnicle. and in new york, willie geist. you've been covering this since the story broke. we've been listening to your words, your reporting, your words of calm. a day later, how is this sinking in? >> well, i think obviously the city, the environment around the city is still in a state of shock. the city will not be business as usual today. many of the streets around us you can see have been closed off, back bay, the entire area of the finish line is closed off and shut down. but like any city like new york, after september 11th, like any city in this country, people are resilient, we'll go on. >> yesterday was a special day for people outside of boston, can you explain? >> oh, joe. >> you know, the sox play, it's a holiday in boston, actually. >> it's a holiday. >> the sox play in the afternoon. you were there with your son. >> it's a traditional holiday. it's perhaps the greatest day for the city during the course of the year. it's a day when the entire city wears a smile. it's a day when hundreds of thousands of people arrive here from literally around the globe and certainly around the nation to run, first, in the boston marathon, 26 miles in massachusetts, to the boylston finish line. the game concludes just as the middle of the pack begins to come through kenmore square on route to the finish line. people spill out of the ballpark, which is four or five blocks from the finish line. many of them walk along -- >> they walk -- >> they walk along the route. >> and the timing was such that you actually were coming on over, right? >> yeah. and what it is is when you're in the newspaper business and people from the newspapers here with us later this morning, i think, stories bump into you. you don't bump into stories. these people who have arrived here to cheer on a relative running for a cause, a specific cause, the newtown -- >> 26 for 26. >> cancer, aids awareness, things like that, running to raise money and awareness for various causes. and it's strangers cheering strangers. strangers handing cups of water to the runners, people they don't know. so at the finish line, five blocks up here, the two explosions occur and you see this amazing resilience. the lessening of panic, the impulse of people to help others. i spoke to a young man yesterday afternoon who saw both blasts within 20 seconds of another as he waited for his girlfriend to come across the finish line. first blast was to his right, second blast was to his left about 15 seconds after the first blast. about 25 yards to his left, he ends up with others applying. he saw a young man dive on his two children. that was the story. >> mika, we're going to get into casualties in a minute, but what's happening with the fbi investigation? >> well, we'll start with an update this morning. the fbi is taking the lead backed by officials from the atf and the massachusetts state police. so far, no one is in custody. but authorities are confirming the search of an apartment last night in neighboring revere. it's still unclear if it's part of the investigation into the bombings. investigators are also speaking to a saudi citizen who was injured in the explosion. he's apparently in the united states on a student visa, but again, no arrests. it's also unclear how many bombs were planted at the scene according to the "new york times." two other devices in addition to the bombs that went off were found and disabled by police before they were detonated. how frightening. mike talked about the tradition of this event and how many bost i bostonians and americans it brings together. also about 100 countries from around the world which will lead to a debate about where this came from until they figure it out. >> what? >> you don't know if it's domestic or international. but for sure, whatever happened to whoever did this gets an international platform of terrorism like it or not. >> because people, obviously, this is not just a boston event. it's an international event, the most famous marathon in the world. and willie geist, up in new york, mika brings up a great point. yesterday, almost immediately after this bomb blast, some news agencies were trying to figure out too quickly, i think, who was responsible for the blast and we didn't know yesterday. we still don't know today. it reminds me. i remember in the hours after oklahoma city back in 1995, on april 19th. >> right. >> 1995, i was watching cnn, they kept talking about arab terrorism. and i was reminded by somebody in my office, my first year in congress that it was the anniversary of waco. i actually remember calling cnn talking to frank and saying, frank, i don't think this attack came from the middle east. i think this attack came from middle america. and yet, everybody was still moving down that path for quite a while. we just don't know who this is and news agencies would be safe and smart to take guidance from the fbi and just wait. >> it's not only okay to say what you just said, which is that we don't know, it's the appropriate thing to do. i don't know why this happens every time there's an incident, everyone wants to make implications or draw lines or point out anniversaries. we don't know, the white house doesn't know right now, the fbi doesn't know. we will learn perhaps, today, more about who did this and why they did it. until we get good information, we ought not speculate about it. and bad information travels so much faster now in the age of twitter and everything else. i know you have it too, the copy of the boston globe in front of me, guys. just incredible stories. and there are going to be hundreds of them. these are the first stories. one this morning on the "globe's" website about a couple of brothers there watching their friend run in the marathon. both of them, age 33, 31, lost a leg. there it is right there. >> oh, god. >> they were recently laid off as roofers, there to see their buddy finish. they did not see him finish. they called, nflt, one of them, their mother from the ambulance and said, mom, i'm hurt real bad was the quote she recalled and told to the "boston globe." this is one story of one family, there's the 8-year-old who was killed. his mother and sister also seriously wounded. they were there to watch their father. to watch their dad cross the finish line and instead they lost an 8-year-old. this is just the beginning of these stories we're going to hear today. >> yeah. it just twists this tragedy. if it's possible and wrenches it even more because the marathon is about unity and it's triumph. and there's so many stories as, mike, you pointed out. you just come here and the stories come to you when you're covering the boston marathon. and the reasons that people are doing it and the reasons they want to cross that finish line. and then the torture of what's happened here. it's absolutely sick. >> yeah, i think it's important to reiterate as joe indicated and really just pointed out. what federal officials and local officials have told me repeatedly over the past 12 hours or so is what they don't know far outweighs what they do know. >> yeah. >> let's just let them do their job, investigative work before we start jumping in with theorys. >> and mika, it's such a -- i mean obviously this sort of tragedy is always jarring. in this type of an event, which is -- i mean, it just brings out the best in people and the good will in people. you were telling us offset before about running two days ago in a half marathon in new york and we're talking about how everybody encourages everybody. there's not really a competition that people are cheering on and decide it is such a celebration -- >> these blasts occurred an hour in for those very people. in the front of the race are the professional athletes. that's a story in itself. but the rest of the race are people there to be with others and enjoy a beautiful day and to challenge themselves to do something they've either never done before, they want to do again and beat their time. they're usually running for someone they love. or in memory or someone or in unity with others. and it's -- so many things went through my mind when i saw this across the air waves. it just in so many ways has been a devastating thing from a national level to an international level and on a personal level, as well. and certainly security at sports events and major major big city events will be an issue from now in the months to come all over again. in washington, nbc news national security analyst and former director of the national counterterrorism center michael lighter joins us. we want to be careful about trying to figure out where this came from until there's good evidence that the fbi decides to release. but security at marathons. may en, how -- this is ridiculous. you've got tens of thousands of people lining a street looking forward, what do we expect? >> right. well, first of all, i really would echo joe and mike barnicle's views about it is so early in this investigation and i think it's incredibly important to be cautious about who did this and how we adjust in the future. but as you noted, these sorts of large public gatherings, these have always been viewed as potential targets. and we can do a lot to make these events safer. and boston -- cities like boston and new york have. it starts with collecting the intelligence. so you try to detect these things before they occur. you do have a significant police presence that boston obviously had. all of these things add up to reducing the likelihood of something tragic like this occurring. but as we saw, if somebody's really committed to killing people, killing innocent people in a totally senseless way, it is going to be impossible for us to stop all of the carnage. what we also saw in boston, i think the result of 10, 12 years of counterterrorism and homeland security protection is a spectacular response. the police, the fire, the hospitals being ready for this sort of mass casualty event. that doesn't save everyone, but it undoubtedly does reduce the number of casualties that we see. >> hey, michael, could you speak to the degree of difficulty about an event like this? this is not an event, the marathon, that occurs in a stadium, at a ballpark or a convention hall where you ha have -- you have assigned egress and exits and entrances, this is an open society we live in. this is 26 miles, one specific area of boylston street with massive coverage. the degree of difficulty securing an area like this. >> yeah, mike, you're absolutely right. the fact is, you can't hardened the route of 26 miles, you can't harden an entire city. events like the super bowl, you can obviously do different levels of protection and go out and have no-fly zones and screening and metal detectors for people coming in. and all of that reduces, again, the chance of a really large-scale attack. something like a marathon route, it's impossible to do that other than in some very, very highly secure areas, potentially the start, the finish, official areas. but along that route, no matter how many soldiers in blue, the boston police department, massachusetts state police you line up, it's virtually impossible to keep everybody safe. and, again, i think what this requires is you do the best you can. you reduce the casualties, you try to find this before the act. and then you respond with the resilience that you've talked so eloquently about. that you get back to life. you don't forget, you investigate you find the people behind this, but you don't let this completely alter our life. because that provides the terrorists, whoever they are domestic or international a huge victory. >> willie geist? >> michael, it's willie geist in new york. the hospitals and law enforcement both reporting that there were ball bearings inside this bomb. not some of the other projectiles like nails that you might find in other improvised explosive devices, particularly like those you see in afghanistan. what can the kind of bomb used yesterday tell you about who may have been behind this? >> as a general matter, willie, the type of bomb, the explosives, was this gun powder? was it some higher quality explosive like petn, was it hydrogen peroxide? that will give a load about the type of organizations behind this. the fact there were ball bearings in this is it clearly tells you that whoever did this was intending to maim and kill. this wasn't an attempt to just, you know, do some damage and scare some people. this was someone or a group trying to kill people. you know, beyond that, i think it's really dangerous to say ball bearings suggest domestic or international. the fact is whether it's al qaeda or domestic terrorist groups or hezbollah, all of these groups have used different sorts of motus operenda. it will be a different lead for investigators in boston and washington, but beyond that, it's hard to go much farther. >> i thought the white house's response yesterday was interesting. not what the president said, but what the president didn't say. >> right. the president did not refer to the attacks as an act of terrorism. but later, a white house official said, quote, this. any event with multiple explosive devices as this appears to be is clearly an act of terror and will be approached as an act of terror. however, we don't yet know who carried out this attack. and a thorough investigation will have to determine whether it was planned and carried out by a terrorist group, foreign, or domestic. >> you know, the boston globe's kevin cullen, i thought wrote a great column yesterday about this in response to it. talked about a perfect marathon and then, of course, the unimaginable. >> this is how bad this is. he writes, i went out monday night and bumped into firefighters i know. they said one of the dead was an 8-year-old boy from dorchester who had gone out to hug his dad after he crossed the finish line. the dad walked on, the boy went back to the sidewalk to join his mom and little sister and then the bomb went off. the boy was killed, his sister's leg was blown off, his mother was badly injured. that's just one family, one story. >> the horror of that, mike. the absolute horror is just hard to imagine. it's hard to put into words, it's hard to -- as a father. >> sure. >> even try to imagine what he's going through this morning. >> yeah. well, just after the two blasts went off. i mean the freeze frame in your mind from past marathons at the finish line is it's an extraordinary day. an extraordinary day of joy and happiness, communal spirit, and the streets are filled with younger children coming to see parents or relatives running. especially at the finish line. a young boy rushes out to give his father a high five or whatever and moments later he's dead, he's 8 years old. almost inconceivable. and yet sadly, sadly, in this day in age of ours, we've been lucky this has not occurred before, since september 11th on a massive scale like this. we've been fortunate. >> yeah. we have. >> all right. still ahead, we're going to talk to former homeland security secretary tom ridge. also, nbc news justice correspondent pete williams with the latest on the investigation. >>> coming up next, former boston police commissioner. 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>> subsequent to 9/11, security for that event, which i worked for over 20 years when i was a boston police officer and ultimately boston police commissioner. after 9/11, it all changed in terms of the security. it was not just crowd control any longer. it was before the fact, looking at intelligence, working with the fbi, the counterterrorism entities and the federal government, the fusion center of boston to see if there was anything being discussed about that event. is there any chatter about it? are there any threats being directed at it? so the intelligence analysis is extraordinarily comprehensive. by all accounts, there was nothing appearing on the radar screen that there was anything being directed at this event. in terms of physically at the site as you know, they would use bomb detecting dogs. the area where this event occurred where the bombs went off. if i understand it correctly based on past experience as well as yesterday, it would have been a v.i.p. area in which there would have been credentials necessary to get into that area. the level of security is so different, it's no longer just crowd control. it is to try and prevent exactly what happened yesterday. the awful tragedy that happened there in boston. >> and given commissioner that this was and is part of the towns that you covered heading up police departments around the country, just your personal thoughts on the events here at the iconic boston marathon, which i'm sure is something that is a wonderful day for you in this town as it is for everybody. >> mika, this event that i grew up in boston, first policed it in 1971 as a boston police officer, and as a sergeant, as a lieutenant, as a chief of the transit police. as the boston police commissioner. it is an extraordinary day and one that i have great memories of. and those memories will be forever tainted by what happened yesterday. i noticed just prior to our interview when you're reading an extraordinary column by kevin cullen, and like mike barnicle, how all of you seasoned commentators, your eyes teared up just thinking how he described that event. i read that column online earlier this morning and literally i had tears coming out of my eyes. the poignancy of it, the tragedy of it. there's an e-mail i received from somebody that michael knows, a former deputy superintendent, my colleague, that he sent to me. i talked to the special ops at the scene of the blast. he said the injuries were horrific. so many amputations. he and many others were shaken to the soul by what they saw. shaken to the soul by what they saw. an horrific event. >> yeah, willie geist here in new york city. doctors saying the same thing on the scene, even in hospitals, this is like nothing they've ever seen or frankly have had to prepare for. a lot of people have pointed out in the last 12 hours or so that this marathon and others like it are prime soft targets. you have a large gathering of people, it's hard to police that many people. in your experience, has the boston marathon been targeted previously? anything you know of that had been thwarted. >> nothing i know of, the current commissioner in boston, and i'm not aware of any specific targeting by anybody of this event. demonstrations, certainly, but certainly not acts of terror. >> commissioner, joe scarborough here. if i'm not mistaken, this is the first act, is it not, of terrorism? like this since 9/11, which really, really underlines the remarkable job that the men and women in our federal government, state governments and local law enforcement, what an incredible job they've done for well over a decade. >> well, this is the first successful act. new york city where i now live has thwarted i think now at least a dozen of these efforts, including you might recall the gentleman who brought a car loaded with explosives into time square. we have learned so much, we have become so much better prepared, the fusion centers, the coordination, the collaboration. but there is no ability to ever prevent all of it. and yesterday was a clear example of that. that we live in a very free society, thank god and we'll continue to live in a free society. we can prevent most of them, but we can't prevent all of them. >> you know, commissioner, listening to you talk about the day and what the day means to the cities of this region, always has. the enormous crowds, that swell the city to size triple its normal size. i was thinking as you spoke as i listened to you that on the day after the marathon as you well recall, both papers, the globe and the herald run the names of all those who finished the marathon. and the sadness of today, the legacy of yesterday in part is going to be in today's papers we are listing the names of those dead and wounded. and that's a sad thing. >> it will forever change the nature, if you will, of the event, which will -- years going forward will continue to be celebratory. a favorite memory of mine when i was police commissioner in 1993 was taking my dad out to lexington and concord to basically see the reenactment of the lexington concord event and driving the 26 miles into the city. and then the honor of having my dad sit beside me at the finish line to watch the first runner come through. sitting in london last night and getting the messages about this event, you could have knocked me out of the chair. the poignancy of it, it's my hometown. >> i'm so sorry, commissioner, thank you so much for joining s us, we'll be talking to you again soon, i'm sure. >> thank you. >>> still ahead, what yesterday's events mean for national security. chairman of the house homeland security committee congressman peter king joins us. also u.s. senate candidate in massachusetts congressman stephen lynch. up next, sports columnist for the boston globe dan shaugnessy joins us. clemmie's looking for a change from fast food breakfast. you know the average one can cost you over $4 a meal per person? 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[ male announcer ] in a clinical study, over 80% of treated men had their t levels restored to normal. talk to your doctor about all your symptoms. get the blood tests. change your number. turn it up. androgel 1.62%. ♪ >>> how long do you train for this race? >> i trained all year. i'm trying to do all 50 states. and this was the race that i wanted to do. >> do you plan oncoming back? >> i'll be back next year. >> i thought it was my first and only boston. i think we all have to run boston. i mean, we have to support that organization. >> all right. it's 38 past the hour, and we're on boylston street in boston, five blocks from where the bombing occurred. here with us now from newton, massachusetts, sports columnist for the "boston globe," dan shaughnessy. >> dan, neither one of us want to admit how long we've been around. so with that said, let me ask you to set the scene for this day that we've both covered for decades. set the scene in terms of the route, what the route means to people who run it, people who watch it, and what the day means to people who live in and around this region. >> mike, as you know, it's one of those unique days that we have that no one else has. patriots day. your friends call from out of town, you're not working. the there's no school. the reenactment, the goofy ball game. it's the only major league baseball game of a country that starts in the morning every year. it's a boston thing. fans generally go down to the finish line to see what's going on. you've got 26 miles, along the route, a lot of us live along the route. people line up everywhere. go through where the college girls come out and scream at everybody. there's heartbreak hill at newton, the turn at the fire station. come in, down through coolidge corner, and at fenway, the runners coming into kenmore. it's always been this great day, 117 years. people lining up four or five deep, all over the route, great atmosphere, families, all of that. and to have this shattered in such a way really takes everyone aback here in boston and forever changes one of our great institutions. the boston marathon. >> and, dan, if you could talk about when the ball game gets over and you're working for the next day, writing a column for the next day's paper, today's paper, this marathon, when you leave, when you go through kenmore square, come down commonwealth avenue, talk about, we mentioned this earlier, how stories bump into you. you don't bump into stories. >> absolutely. because generally the later in the day, the better the stories. i mean, the elite runners, you know, ethiopians in this case, kenyans most of the time, we understand it's great. but the real stories are the people, your friends and neighbors. they're chugging through there a couple hours later. those are the people coming down boylston street when the devices went off. it's the regular folks, the firefighters, the teachers, the people running for the charity. all those people are the ones that are finishing now after the elite runners have already showered and done their press conferences. >> hey, dan, it's willie geist in new york city, you wrote a beautiful piece in the globe this morning. you point to the unthink about nature of the day and how difficult it was to wrap your head around it. a day that started like every other patriots day, ended for you in your living room with the kid who grew up across the street and lived across the street in your living room with jeans torn and shrapnel in his leg. can you explain that a little bit? >> it was the strangest thing. i had to -- like a lot of us, i went into town, i had two daughters down there and one of their mothers-in-law was running. i went to get them out of there to get home and with social media and whatnot, they said, hey, he was down there when the bomb went off. i called kevin, he came over, sat on the couch, had a beer, he had a tear in his jeans from the shrapnel and rolled up his pant leg and had a wound there. he said i've got to go to the hospital tomorrow. he was able to describe all the stuff that happened. it was odd he had been standing right there. and like anyone else, his parents were worried had he been a little closer to the device. he's not sitting having a beer in my living room, he's somewhere else. >> dan and mike, you've covered this town. but we all know this is a college town. joe, you and i know this as fans of the boston red sox. and it's not just the day of the boston marathon that brings people into the streets. this is the kind of town where people walk everywhere and they pour into fenway park. and they're used to bumping into stories and everyone's bumping into everyone and it's part of the joy of going to a game. and you wonder just how this is going to change the way things are done. >> yeah, i doubt it will. i mean, there'll be more security next year. i doubt, though, that people in boston are going to change. dan, i'm sure you'll agree with me. red sox fans are pretty tough, bruins fans are pretty tough, runners that come out here are tough. i don't think they're going to change a lot. security's going to be heightened. we were listening to bill bratton talking about his memory, of his dad taking him up at 5:30 to look at the reenactment, driving 26 miles and having the honor of sitting next to his father at the finish line. and how the events of yesterday are going to change the way you look at boston's most special day for years to come. >> well, i was a kid reporter in 1976. i think mike barnicle might have run in this one, but it was 100 degrees, i remember dog day afternoon was playing at the theater on boylston street when they came down the finish line and a run for the hose is what we called that one. i was in the globe car with a wa wa walkie-talkie. >> barnicle, you never ran a marathon, did you? >> dan is right, 1976 was the hottest marathon on record. i nearly expired. >> thank you, dan. >> with you in the flat bed truck trying to get jack craig. >> that's exactly right. >> the visual image is just fantastic. thank you very much. the boston globe's dan shaughnessy. thank you for coming on the show. >>> in less than three hours from now, the fbi is set to hold a news conference with the latest on the investigation. up next, some perspective on what law enforcement may be looking for with former philadelphia police chief john t timiney. i've been going around the country asking people to try on these amazing depend silhouette briefs. oh, it's cheryl burke! who's this guy? security. cheryl, hi! i know you don't need one but would you try on the depend silhouette for charity? right now? under this? why not? for charity? now's the perfect time, cause with soft fabric and waistband, the best protection looks, fits and feels just like underwear. even doing the chacha. whaaat? ok, america. cheryl burke tried the depend silhouette. get a free sample so you can too. from capital one... boris earns unlimited rewards for his small business. can i get the smith contract, please? 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[ male announcer ] yes, it is, business pro. yes, it is. go national. go like a pro. ♪ >>> we've obviously mobilized not just the trauma team for today, but the backup team and the backup to the backup team. this is like a bomb explosion that we hear about in the news in baghdad or israel or some other tragic point, space in the world. >> all right. live look at the scene from above boston. we're live here in boston on boylston street. welcome back to "morning joe." mike barnicle, joe scarborough, mika brzezinski here. john timinney. give us a sense, we love this town. we love boston, what are we to expect in the days to come as the investigation ensues, but also the city takes on this new meaning and this new way of life. >> well, that's the difficult part. it really is going to change the boston marathon, which is an american icon. i've run it a few times myself. i don't think it'll ever be the same. however, it will continue. the police at davis, they've got their work cut out for them. i'm sure there's going to be forensic evidence from both scenes. i guarantee you'll have tv cameras and video cameras coming into play over the next few days. there may be witnesses who surface, people who may have ran from the scene out of sheer panic that may have seen somebody acting suspicious. you have two locations. is it one individual dropping off two bombs or two individuals each one developing off a bomb? all of those things. and then, of course, with the fbi and the local terrorism task force. do they have any informants that can shed light on this? and probably the biggest thing is not to jump to conclusions. not to assume anything. leave it all wide open. don't lean towards a foreign or domestic. it could be either one. patriots day, also tax day. that could've got people up in arms. it could be a foreign type. so you leave all the options, all the possibilities open and let the evidence and the cctv cameras and the witnesses will bring you to your suspects. >> chief, how extensive is the camera network in boston? obviously, when something happens in london you can -- >> dial it up. >> you can dial it up pretty quick. there are a few streets in london that aren't on close circuit tv. do you know what the situation is in boston? >> yeah, my sense is most american cities, new york is going that route. there's nothing like london and belfast. those two cities have complete integrated system and it's almost nothing without it being captured on cctv cameras. as a matter of fact, back in 2005 in london, they were able to follow those guys from outside of london all the way into london to the subways and to the bus. so there the cctv cameras were absolutely invaluable in the investigation. my sense is boston -- they will have some cctv cameras. filming the very end of the finish line and then you have individual people that will be taking pictures throughout the marathon. but especially at the finish line. there'll be hundreds if not thousands of pictures taken of people running and crossing the finish line in the minutes and hours leading up to the bombing. >> mike barnicle. >> john, you were number two in new york with bill bratton, chief in philadelphia, chief in miami. >> yep. >> could you talk briefly about how policing in the united states has changed since september 11th, how departments have changed since september 11th given the often tenuous relationship between municipal police departments and the fbi. and now the fbi is running this investigation. how has that relationship changed? >> well, i think, it's funny, i was talking to somebody just this morning about the fbi's role. i first realized it after the chief of miami after 9/11, and we had a big event about 1 million people in miami, a big celebration. and who shows up but the fbi completely different role for the fbi that normally they would show up to do an investigation after an event. but now with the major events all across what is a super bowl or any other event, the fbi are there ahead of time with their resources and they've got great resources, and so it's more of a partnership and there's not as much turf battles if you will as there was prior to 9/11. the relationship is entirely different. so the relationship is a lot better than it was prior to 9/11. >> all right. former philadelphia police chief john timoney, thank you very much. >> thank you, mika, thanks, mike. >> thank you, chief. >> -- who documents post 9/11 america. he joins us live here in boston. keep it right here on "morning joe." all stations come over to mission a for a final go. this is for real this time. step seven point two one two. verify and lock. command is locked. five seconds. three, two, one. standing by for capture. the most innovative software on the planet... dragon is captured. is connecting today's leading companies to places beyond it. siemens. answers. by earning a degree from capella more iuniversity, you'll have the knowledge to make an impact in your company and take your career to an even greater place. let's get started at capella.edu. for those nights when it's more than a bad dream, be ready. for the times you need to double-check the temperature on the thermometer, be ready. for high fever, nothing works faster or lasts longer. be ready with children's motrin. people lose 5x more weight following the weight watchers approach than trying on their own. you can too. the new weight watchers 360 program. join for free and check out the new risk free guarantee today. >>> it was a terrible day. very bad things happened today for no good reason. and our thoughts are with the people of boston and everyone who is suffering. >> boston's my hometown, it's where i grew up. it's where my family lives. so i wanted to take a moment to say that like everybody here, my thoughts and prayers are with the people of boston and everybody who has been affected by this absolutely senseless act. >> is anyone else sick of this [ bleep ]? 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marathon. >> this is like a bomb explosion that we hear about in the news in baghdad or israel or some other tragic point. >> it was loud. really, really loud. and then people just chaos everywhere. >> i knew immediately it was a bomb. people were scrambling. >> everybody was going crazy. at first, it almost sounded like a cannon blast, it literally almost blew my head off. >> times of crisis, we come together and help one another. moments like these, terrible as they are don't show our weakness. they show our strength. >> make no mistake, we will get to the bottom of this. and we will find out who did this, we'll find out why they did this. any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice. boston is a tough and resilient town so are its people. >> there was just families all around us with kids yelling and screaming and we just wanted to try to get away as quick as possible. >> and we reaffirmed that on days like this, there are no republicans or democrats, we are americans united in concern for our fellow citizens. >> and welcome back to "morning joe." we're live here in boston just blocks from that scene where the double bombing happened yesterday at the finish line of the boston marathon. mike barnicle is still with us and willie geist is with us from new york. joe will be joining us in a moment with former homeland security secretary tom ridge. to recap, three people are dead including an 8-year-old boy identified by boston nbc affiliate as martin richard. his family members are reportedly seriously wounded, as well. nearly 130 people were injured. they're being treated at nearby hospitals. and joining us now, we have white house correspondent for the "wall street journal" who was actually running in yesterday's boston marathon. set the scene for us. you weren't writing a piece. this is not your beat. you were just a runner. >> right. yesterday i was just supposed to be a runner. i just finished the race and was still in the logjam of runners getting water, getting my finisher medal when i heard the first explosion. and i was about a block away and everyone stopped and kind of wondered what had happened. but went back to what they were doing and then we heard the second loud boom and that's when people started to realize that something was wrong. >> did -- were you part of the crowds that were running and trying to get away? what went through your mind as a reporter? because i would think there'd be two things at once. >> right. kind of conflicting emotions because as a reporter, you're used to being on the scene and you walk toward news not away from it. and so i wasn't certain what was happening. and pretty quickly, we could hear sirens. and police cars started to arrive. and volunteers said clear the area, you need to leave. and so they pretty quickly started moving us out. and at that point, everyone had just run 26.2 miles and you feel like you can't walk another step let alone run away from what's happening. >> your legs feel like they're 800 pounds each when you've run so far. but at some point, i would imagine the adrenaline takes over and fear takes over and get the hell out. >> absolutely. you had to get away from the scene. >> so the scene that you describe and, mike, i'll let you jump in. so you became a reporter on this instead of just a runner. i'm sorry to say because i know running just like me for you is your escape, your joy, your thing away from your work. >> right. >> it now became your work and you wrote this. i was just far enough away that i couldn't see the gory scene unfolding a block away. there injured and bloodied spectators who had cheered me on a few minutes earlier now were being rushed to medical tents originally set up for hobbled runners. something is very wrong another runner said to me. like me, the runners all around had come not just to the end of boston's 26.2 grueling hilly miles, but to the conclusion of a journey of preparation that starts many months before the race. our expectation was that we'd pick up a hard-earned medal, gratefully hug our friends, instead, tragedy struck. after running all of those miles, i felt i couldn't walk another step. but in the panic after the explosions, there was no choice. >> colleen, was this your first boston marathon? >> it was my third. >> oh, wow. >> i'd experienced it before. it's such a special day and a celebratory day in boston. hyde had a great experience in the past and was looking forward to another celebration at the finish line. >> for those people, viewers out there this morning who are unaware of uniqueness of the boston marathon, the oldest marathon in this country, 117 years old, could you speak to the route and the strangers who offer you assistance, water and encouragement along the way, all the way until you come across the finish line? >> it's a special race, you start out and you actually run toward boston and you run through these small towns. and people have the day off and they line the streets and they come out and they offer you oranges and little kids set up lemonade stands and offer you cups of water. it's a community event. people are so supportive and people put out the score of the red sox game during the race. i always tell people, there aren't a lot of opportunities in life for amateur runners and amateur athletes where you are cheered on and where you have, you know, so much support. >> so much exhilaration at the end, too, that you finally made it and you can't understand what that feels like unless you've done it. i did a half marathon on sunday and i don't know how you've done it. i'm impressed. >> hey, it's willie up in new york, i appreciate you being with us this morning. you talked about it a little bit. but there have been some stories coming out of yesterday in the midst of this evil of overwhelming good. you talked to some of those who ran to the scene. i'm interested in your fellow runners, though, there were reports of some of them after having completed that journey and having the 800-pound legs that mika talked about. knowing what they knew about what happened, continue running another mile to mile and a half to hospitals to offer their own blood to help somehow. can you talk about what you saw from your fellow runners? >> right. i think everyone's instinct was how can we help. some runners went to the hospital, gave blood. some runners on the scene were doctors and had training as first responders. they walked back toward the scene instead of trying to get away from it. there's such a comradery among runners. i think everyone's kind of first inclination was to help the fellow runners and the spectators cheering us on. >> all right. thank you very much for telling your story. will you be here next year for the marathon? >> i think i will. >> i think you will. thank you very much. we really appreciate it. >>> all right. joining us now in washington, the country's first homeland security secretary tom ridge. very good to have you on the show. thank you very much. i see i'm reading some of your assessments of what's happened here. and at one point, i think late last night, you might have said the more you hear about this bombing, the more you think it might have been a coordinated attack. does that still stand? and if so, why? >> well, i think it's an interesting observation that i made and you challenging that this morning. i think it's fair to say with various reports, i think the interpretation based on my experience has changed. at one point in time, there were two exploded devices. two that had not been detonated. and another report that there were five other explosive devices found. the concern -- not the concern, but the ideas i had evolve and continue to evolve. they're not the five exploded devices. and things have changed dramatically. it speaks to a broader point. we won't not know who is responsible. we will not have all the details until the investigation is finished. leads me to believe that perhaps i shouldn't jump to conclusions based on what has been reported because it's not as factual as i thought it had been. >> fair enough. fair enough. and we'll be careful too, obviously it's better to wait for all the information to come out. given the story that we're covering now. yeah, go ahead. >> well, i think it's understandable of people looking for answers and journalists are doing everything they possibly can to provide as much information as they can. but i think the cautionary remark that the president made about not jumping to conclusions, it clearly seems to me and i still believe it was a terrorist attack. we don't know whether it was a domestic terrorist, connected to an international organization, multiple devices designed with an anti-personnel, designed to maim, designed to bring the kind of destruction as somebody referred to earlier in your program that you often see in battlefields, with improvised explosive devices in afghanistan and iraq. in my judgment it's a terrorist attack. the source of it remains to be determined. >> you know, governor, one of the frightening things about holding the type of position that you held over the past, you know, after 9/11, over the past decade and you hear it from other high-ranking law enforcement officers and members of the cia, it's all the intelligence that comes streaming in and trying to sort through it and parse through it. what seems to frightening to me at least from a layman's point of view is the fact that there was no chatter. there was no warning. doesn't appear to be any piece of evidence out there that anybody could've acted on. >> no, that's exactly right. and i think as we deal with the global scourge of terrorism and we're going to be dealing with it, i'm afraid, for the foreseeable future, the epicenter is trying to identify the perpetrator before he or they act. in this instance, there were no leads, there was no communicati communication. nothing substantive to act upon. and make no mistake about it, i'm quite sure there were security measures put in place. i'm quite sure that over the 26 plus miles, there were cameras and there were police, they were marked in unmarked cars. did everything you possibly can. as we remind ourself every single day, multiple events, cultural, social, political, attracting hundreds of thousands if not hundreds of thousands, we have been will always be a target rich environment. i don't like to use that expression. people convene in large crowds, and this historic day in boston was marred from the cheers to the chaos in the tragedy that evolved. >> isn't it safe to say it possibly could be why the boston marathon was a target. an international event on tax day, opens the question for domestic as well as a foreign attack. >> i don't think you're jumping to a conclusion there. when i said earlier in our conversation, you know, you think differently when there are multiple undetonated devices. you go from one or two people to maybe three or four. the report was five or seven devices, you think it's a much more coordinated attack. but i don't think it's a -- you're jumping to conclusions to say this is a big day in boston. it is an international event. runners from all over the world participate. and the terrorists or the actors knew they would get this attention. they also knew with the devices they used, they would cause a massive number of casualties. >> we live in an open society as you just spoke to, the impossibility, the near impossibility of securing an open area like a marathon route. it's a lot different than securing airports or things like that. super bowls, things like that. now this event has occurred, we have a society also where hundreds of thousands of people have cell phone cameras taking pictures that could potentially be part of this investigation. could you speak to the methodology, the drudge work ongoing right now as we speak. how does this go? how do they go through all the evidence they've gathered and still out there. >> well, i think you characterized it very appropriately. it's drudge work. it is pain stakingly focused on the slightest detail. the shrapnel that was used. there may be some evidence there. you've had surveillance cameras, i'm quite confident. you've had literally hundreds if not thousands of people with their iphones taking photographs. and as you go through all the video evidence, the forensic evidence that they are able to accumulate based on the scene itself, it is a pain staking bit by bit very slow, methodical, incremental process. they will identify the perpetrators. they will find out who is responsible for this horrific act. but it's going to take some time. remember that '96's bombing in atlanta was a pipe bomb, it took quite some time to determine who the responsible party was. but i'm confident in the ability of the law enforcement community to identify the actor in this matter. absolutely confident. >> well, the work you did in part will help with that. here's part of what president obama said yesterday. take a look. >> we still do not know who did this or why. and people shouldn't jump to conclusions before we have all the facts. but make no mistake, we will get to the bottom of this. and we will find out who did this. we'll find out why they did this. any response -- any responsible individuals, any responsible groups. will feel the full weight of justice. >> and then secretary ridge, a white house official later said, quote, this, in the event with multiple explosive devices as this appears to be is clearly an act of terror and will be approached as an act of terror, however, we don't yet know who carried out this attack and a thorough investigation will have to determine whether it was planned and carried out by a terrorist group foreign or domestic. >> and governor ridge, when you hear the president of the united states talking about we will find the perpetrators, we will bring them to justice. even though he's not from your party. and he was critical of your administration, you've got to really feel a bond with that president because you've been there when you're responsible for keeping americans safe and an event like this happens and people want answers, they want it quickly. sometimes it's frustrating for people inside the white house. >> well, i think it's frustrating for people inside the white house and may be frustrating for 300 plus million americans. we want the answer as quickly as possible and justice and some may say retribution, but we want to find out who is responsible and make sure that the -- our response as a nation, as a country is appropriate. and frankly, we have to wait and see what the investigation reveals. is it a domestic lone wolf? some grudge against the government? is it tied to an international organization of some kind? a jihadist movement? so we need to find out who the actor was, determine the motive and figure out the form of justice and action this government takes. >> secretary ridge, it's willie geist in new york. i think a lot of us thought after the attacks of september 11th, this was the new normal to use a term we were going to see a lot more domestic terrorism. and we haven't seen a whole lot of it. there was ft. hood, the anthrax attacks, thwarted attacks, a combination of good police work and in some cases bumbling terrorists. should the american people be surprised based on all you know, all the intelligence you saw as director of homeland security that we have not been attacked more often than we have been since september of 2001? >> no, i don't think we should be surprised. i think the 9/11 world what most americans don't see is the additional security that both in the public and the private sector that we've now embedded into everything we do. i think clearly america is safer today than it was at 9/11. and i think, again, we just have to remind ourselves that in this extraordinary country in which we all live, and the freedoms and the accessibility and the liberties that are so profound and so much a part of our existence. we cannot let the terrorists alter how we live and enjoy these freedoms and how we enjoy our country. we are certainly safer. but every single day when we gather at these kinds of events, there is always that potential. and i say that not to frighten or alarm, it is a global scourge. it is something we're going to have to be dealing with. and to date, i think the country has done a remarkable job in securing itself. and every day we get smarter, every day we get more secure. and there are only two ways this event could've not occurred. one is somebody mentioned earlier in the broadcast, we're going to identify the actors beforehand, seize them, go the the perpetrator or cancel the event. i was gratified to listen to the previous -- the woman in the reporter who ran the event said she's probably going to run in the marathon. i was hopeful that all of these other events would continue. maybe ramped up security, more inconvenience, we don't want to fundamentally change how we enjoy this country, how we live in this country. >> no doubt about it. >> no question there. former homeland security secretary tom ridge, always good to have you on. >> thank you, tom. >> coming up, the latest on the investigation and the administration's response. pete williams and chuck todd join us next. you're watching "morning joe" live from boston. >>> on days like this, there are no republicans and democrats, we are americans united in concern for our fellow citizens. i've also spoken with governor patrick and made it clear they have every federal resource necessary to care for the victims and counsel the families. and above all, i made clear to them that all americans stand with the people of boston. >> clear the set. >> that was president obama yesterday, and as you see in washington, d.c. on capitol hill, flags are at half staff this morning. joining us now from washington, nbc chief news white house correspondent and political director and host of the "daily rundown" chuck todd. and pete williams with the latest on the investigation. pete, we'll start with you. bring us up to date. >> okay, mika. one of the confusing things about what's going on here is how many devices were there. now, obviously we know there were two. the two that went off. but we've been hearing for all of -- since this happened that there were others. and i think the reason for that confusion is there were so many other packages that were on the street after the explosion. people simply dropped what they were carrying and ran. and authorities have been going through all those packages, trying to see if there were any other explosive devices. they detonated or i should say destroyed several of these packages. and there's been confusion about whether there were two unexploded bombs. but this morning, senior law enforcement official says it now appears, no, there were no unexploded devices, just the two that went off. we'll see whether later in the day that changes again. but that's our best information for now. and it's too bad in a sense because if there were unexploded devices, that would be obviously an investigative gold mine in terms of the components how they were made and so forth. now, as for the second part of this, the second moving piece that we saw last night, there was a search in the boston suburb of revere. that is the moment of a 20-year-old saudi man who is here on a student visa. he was questioned at length last night in a hospital. he has fairly serious burns. he was seen running away after the explosion and witnesses said he appeared to be acting suspiciously just before the bombs went off. not certain exactly what that means. but they say there's really -- it's too soon to know one way or the other about him. he may have simply been an instant bystander and he's denied having anything to do with this. but that is an area they're looking at. mika? >> pete, what do we know right now about any forensic evidence having to do with the kind of bombs employed, the kinds of devices employed? what with uz left? what have they found? do we know anything about the forensics of this investigation? >> not much. and i think the reason for that, mike, is the first priority they had last night was pursuing all these packages. it kept them extraordinarily busy all night long with the bomb squad people making sure there were no other packages left. you had two bombs that raised the question of, well, were there more? and there was all this confusion about whether there may have been more than two. a lot of that work is going to be done today. some of it -- some of the initial work was done last night. but we don't have a very good picture yet of what they found in terms of what kind of explosive was used. they claim to know some of the officials i should say, claim to know how the things were detonated. that is to say whether it was a timer, whether it was a cell phone call, whether it was some other kind of radio remote control device or simply somebody, you know, with a fuse pressing a button that delays it and then they run off. they say they know what that is, we don't know what that answer is yet. >> chuck todd, i heard you say earlier that the white house was careful. in describing exactly what happened yesterday, early on, the president did not call it an act of terrorism. and you say that's -- there's a good reason for that. and that reason is the mistakes that were made off benghazi. >> well, they don't -- they debated whether to use the word or not and made the decision that when the president uses that term, that's just going to color the investigation, it's going to color the way things are done. and instead, since they don't know who did it and they don't know why. and joe, i keep going back to that. it is -- it was striking yesterday, and the white house staff itself seems a little surprised at how little is known. yes, we're not even 24 hours removed. but when you think about all the other incidents that we've been in this situation. where they've been in this situation. they're used to getting information a lot faster. they're used to seeing these investigations. you know, maybe there's a suspect in custody quickly. there's just -- they're somewhat frustrated by the lack of what the fact they don't know who did it and they don't yet have a motivation as to why. and that goes to why they were being careful of what he said. they knew his words were going to have extra weight. if they're treating like an act of terror, they saved the president's words until they have all the facts. >> hey, chuck, it's willie up in new york. if you can -- i'm imagining somebody sitting at home saying, wait a minute, some sort of device full of ball bearings was exploded killed three people, injured more than 100, in what way is that not terrorism? why is it important, exactly, for the president not to characterize it that way? at least according to the white house? what would it mean if he had come out and called it terrorism? >> well, fairly or unfairly, there's a definition the public takes with terrorism that the assumption is it is some sort of politically motivated attack. they obviously are very sensitive to this. what happened to benghazi and other incidents that have happened on their watch. that's why. i talked to other security officials that had the same reaction you did, willie. and said, yes, i understand what the white house is trying to tell you and i understand why the white house is being careful. at the same time, this was terrorism. whether it's crack pot terrorizing the city of boston or some international group that's terrorizing the united states, it's -- it's terrorism. >> chuck, off of that response, your reporters eyes and ears in the white house, the three prior chiefs of staff to the president, rahm emanuel, bill daly, jack lew, came versed in congress, versed in politics. the current chief of staff has his role had an impact in the rhetoric in the employment of rhetoric by the president and the administration right now? >> well, you can't help but wonder they are being extra cautious by what they have the president say. also remember, mike, this is the first incident where john brennan is not by the president's side. it's a new team of people by the president's side inside that west wing. john brennan over by the cia. that's not to say the president is not on the phone quite a bit with john brennan. they have developed a close, personal relationship. this is a different team. this is the first one first incident of any kind like this happening on this team's watch. i go back in sort of watching what i saw with the white house yesterday which is, they're not withholding anything. sometimes when you don't get information out of them, they have it, they're being very careful, they're dotting an eye, crossing a "t." in sources i talked to yesterday, they were emphasizing, we don't have any hidden information, we're not sitting on anything, nobody's sitting on anything, you're not going to sit on an anything in an investigation like this. they don't know. >> pete, any idea what you're expecting throughout the day? have you heard any words from fbi, law enforcement authorities on future briefings? >> well, there's going to be one in about two hours up in boston i think is the current plan. it wasn't clear if it was going to be 8:30 or 9:30 eastern. but now they're settling on 9:30. i guess you can watch what they say, but you can also watch what they do. the fact this happened in boston, that there was, you know, no obvious federal crime. but the fbi is leading the investigation says it all. because the fbi automatically has the lead in any attack that is considered to be terrorism. so that's -- that really tells you everything you need to know. >> all right. our thanks to chuck todd and pete williams. >> thanks, guys. >> we'll be getting updates throughout the morning. >>> up next, we'll hear from an e.r. doctor who treated some of the victims in yesterday's attack. >>> congressman michael mccullough will be joining us. 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we just spoke to chuck todd who is in touch with the white house. they say they are frankly surprised and a little frustrated they don't yet have suspects or more information. what can you tell us? >> well, first, my heart goes out to the victims and families. such a tragic experience looking at the graphic videos out there. i think the only new reporting and briefings i've had is a saudi bystander, if you will, who was hospitalized became a person of interest who has been questioned. and we know that a search warrant according to the reports was executed at his house. we don't know what's come out of that. as a former federal prosecutor counterterrorism guy, you can't rush to conclusions. but i do know they have had this person in custody and i think that's a positive step forward. >> he's been identified as you said a person of interest. he told authorities he got up and ran away and he was tackled by a bystander, because he was scared like everybody else. do you have any idea what they found when they looked into his apartment? should we be more concerned about him than he suggests? >> no, i do not have the results of the search warrant. and so, no, i don't have that information right now. i will tell you this, you know, simultaneous bombing, mass casualties, spectacular event, those are all the ingredients that are in there. and we saw that, unfortunately, yesterday which led me to call this an act of terrorism as of yesterday. i think the fact that the fbi's taking the lead on this clearly indicates that it is taking it as a terrorist investigation. the question is, whether this is a foreign terrorist attack or a domestic terrorist attack. we just don't know. >> congressman, we are right here in boston, massachusetts, five blocks from the site where two devices exploded yesterday afternoon. three people are known dead, hundreds more are injured, we know that. but this city is coming to life again this morning. the sun rose, people are going to go to work, children will be out playing in playgrounds throughout the city and other cities in the country. could you talk about the degree of difficulty in increasing security. despite the intel reports you get, despite the sophistication. in an open society, the degree of difficulty of preventing incidents like yesterday. >> very difficult to stop something like this. you really can't clamp down on security with open events, like a football game, like a shopping mall. i don't think the american people want a 24/7 security clamp down on them. so this is a very delicate balance in terms of trying to prevent this sort of thing from happening. i think what you mention is if anything's a silver lining is how we come together and americans at a time like this how the other runners came to the assistance. i kaud to the white house yesterday and the message we both had was this was not a republican/democrat issue, this is an american issue. it's an event that transcends politics. >> i know you have a busy day ahead of you, we appreciate you making time for us. chairman of the house committee on homeland security. thanks for your time. >> thank you, joe. >>> coming up, the sports reporter who shot this dramatic video of yesterday's explosion near the finish line of the boston marathon has already become an akiconic image. ♪ ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] this is a reason to look twice. this is a stunning work of technology. the 2013 lexus es and the first-ever es hybrid. this is the pursuit of perfection. >>> that is the now iconic video, the moment the first of two explosions rocked the finish line of yesterday's boston marathon. and photo journalism is now an art in and of itself. online photo journalism steve silva filmed that video. steve, it's a great day in this city as you know. marathon day. so let's put you on the clock at 2:50 yesterday afternoon thereabouts. what are you doing? where are you? what evolved? >> aisle dead center at that point sitting right on the finish line. out there for about five hours shooting finish line scenes. at this point four hours into the race, mostly the charity runners and the people that didn't qualify coming across. i'm trying to capture scenes. somebody does a cartwheel coming across the line or push-ups, that sort of thing, very light coverage, 2:50 p.m. out of the right side just there it went, the explosion just smoke shot up, you heard the loud thud sound and just kind of went over. got closer for a split second, thought is it some kind of muss kel fire celebrating these people coming across. as you got closer, only 12 seconds on the approach we heard the second explosion up by fairfield street. >> a, what goes through your mind, then your mind's eye as you're working? what do you do then? >> yeah, no. so i got to keep filming this. you want to get close but not too close. i wasn't going to be panning cameras over bodies on the sidewalk but i wanted to get an essence of what the scene was. i knew to stay close. i was just in the middle of all that mass confusion an those initial moments where people were trying to get to victims, marathon volunteers, police officers, fire, some of the soldiers running in the marathon helped pull those partitions back to get to people but we needed those first responders, the medical team in there. it was getting the word to the medical team in the tent, they're just used to treating people with cramps and hamstr g hamstrings suddenly being an emergency trauma situation. they all come sprinting up with stretchers. >> for those who are not familiar with the boston marathon and the finish line, at the finish line there is a world class triage unit available there on site. luckily for many of the wounded, the injured, i would think, they were within literally second. >> yeah, they were there within second. that part was good. unfortunately there was some people there wasn't much you could do but comfort them. there was a man whose leg was severed off. that's an image you can't forget when you see that. they were there on the scene to get people out of there, street closures, getting additional ambulances and police in there was not easy. i think they did everybody -- everybody on the scene did a great job. >> you're working, adrenalin is flowing. what does it sink in to you? what time last night or maybe not yet? >> i believe this morning they put a compilation together of some of the interviews and president obama speaking. i think when i heard that when i got up this morning the gravity of the situation hit home a little more. yesterday was just all reaction. i had had to get work done for "the globe," they wanted video. i had aftermath video. then i'm fielding calls from media that saw the video and wanted comment. i was in a reactionary mode until 2:00 in the morning until i got up this morning. >> willie geist is in new york with a question. >> your video over the last 16 hours has become the most feel piece of tape around this world associated with the incident. one thing people have noted, you sort of absorbed the blast for about one second and then you run to it. i'm not sure everybody would have done that. i know it was probably just an instinct for you but can you share a little bit more about what you saw when you finally reached that scene and what happened after you turned the camera off? were you there among the wounded? >> yeah. i never turned the camera off. i probably ran about eight minutes of video out there from the area. the blast went off, i just went to it. i didn't think about it. i wasn't trying to say, oh, i shouldn't go here. i just needed to know what it was and needed to get close to it. when i heard the second bomb go off, i knew we were in a serious situation. that was my feeling. as i got closer to the sidewalk, it was just a pile of bodies and blood on the scene. it was just a horrible scene like it was a spielberg horror movie but it was real. so it all hit home pretty quickly. >> the day itself, the stories, i can recall when dan shaughnessy and i were talking about it earlier, it is one of the few events you cover where stories bump into you rather you bump into stories. that's part of the poignancy today. the-year-old child, the coroner of fairfield reaching out for his dad, from dorchester, a neighborhood in boston that are killed. it is quite a day. >> last year i remember being out in the line. i'm trying to get random people coming across. you never know when they'll come through. i remember catching a man who just lost his son in iraq. he ran the marathon carrying his son's boots. that's my lasting image from last year. here it is a year later where people are going through the same types of death and injury right here on the course feet from the finish line. >> willie, we should assure people throughout this country and throughout the world that -- steve, i'm sure would back me up here -- there will and marathon next year and there are far more good people than there are evil people and the good people, as steve just indicated, were out there yesterday helping complete strangers, strangers helping strangers. i think that's one of the things that impact you the most, isn't it? >> yeah. everybody -- great volunteers of the marathon anyway. they're helping the runners all day long. they were standing right on the line. you did see that first wave come through and the crash and partitions go. all those marathon volunteers felt it first. just strangers on the sidewalk that were not affected but in the zone and they stayed in that zone. all the first responders rushed in. there was plenty of help on-board for sure. >> willie? >> steve silva, we appreciate you sharing your story with us this morning. it is the piece of video that everybody now will associate with that terrible day yesterday. steve, thanks for your time. >> welcome, willie. >>> coming up next -- a new perspective from capitol hill on what the bombings mean for national security. we'll talk to three top members of congress, plus pulitzer prize winning journalist ron sus skin joins the conversation back in boston. >> we just heard a loud boom and no one knew exactly what it was but it stopped everyone. >> the ground shook. my legs didn't stop shaking. >> that image and that sound, i'll never forget the sound and i'll never forget the imagery i sound when i approached. >> as soon as that second one went off it was complete mayhem. >> everything that went through my head, this is an attack, this can't happen within 15 seconds. >> you can run in any direction and a third one could come. if there was one and there was two, then there could be three and there could be four. the capital one cash rewards card gives you 1% cash back on all purchases, plus a 50% annual bonus. and everyone but her... no. no! no. ...likes 50% more cash. but i don't give up easy... do you want 50% more cash? 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[ male announcer ] yes, you could business pro. yes, you could. go national. go like a pro. ♪ >>> the first explosion occurred and it was kind of -- it was like a sound i had never heard before. it shook you right to the core and then you're trying to figure out what happened. we saw the smoke. then the second explosion occurred and at that point it was pandemonium. >> i got within about a block and then i saw an explosion of white smoke and the loudest noise i've ever heard in my life. even though i was almost a block away, the concussion from that was just stunning. it's disorienting and i think everyone around me, too, we just kind of looked at each other. >> in boston, patriots day is steeped in tradition. a state holiday marking the city's proud history. a time when the world's most prestigious marathon unites runners from around the globe. 26.2 miles. 23,000 athletes, a half a million cheering fans. but this year marathon monday will be remembered for the devastation that ripped apart a day of triumph and joy. at 2:50 yesterday afternoon, two bombs just second apart exploded near the finish line of the boston marathon. thick, white smoke only temporarily masked the carnage that was left behind. scores of people -- runners, children, volunteers -- were left bloodied and dazed by the incredible strength of the blasts. first responders who had been treating cases of dehydration and little bit offers were suddenly faced with what looked like a war zone. they delivered emergency first aid that in many cases saved lives for those who were there, it was surreal. >> you just heard a loud boom and no one knew exactly what it was but it stopped everyone. >> the ground shook. i mean my legs didn't stop shaking. >> i've got that image and that sound, i'll never forget the sound and i'll never forget the imagery i saw when i approached. >> as soon as that second one went off it was complete mayhem. >> everything going through my head is this is an attack, this is not an accident, this is not happen -- can't happen within 15 seconds. >> you don't know what direction to run in. a third one could come. if there was one, there was two, there could be three, then there could be four. >> at least three people were killed by the bombs. among them an 8-year-old boy. more than 120 were injured. many of whom are now listed in critical condition. president obama spoke from the white house yesterday evening. >> we still do not know who did this or why and people shouldn't jump to conclusions before we have all the facts. but, make no mistake, we will get to the bottom of this and we will find out who did this, we'll find out why they did this. any responsible individuals, any responsible groups, will feel the full weight of justice. >> the theme of this year's race -- 26 miles for 26 victims. a message of remembrance for the newtown school shooting. many of the victims' family members were guests at the finish line tent just yards from where the blasts occurred. and here we are now live on boyleston street in boston this morning, just about five blocks from the sight of those explosion yesterday near finish line of the boston marathon. joining us at the top of the hour, democratic representative from massachusetts an member of the homeland security committee, congressman bill keating. congressman, thanks very much for joining us. i'm so sorry. sfli wish we weren't here. there was numbness around the city last night and i think it is replaced by shock this morning still. people are still letting this sink in their heads. it stands in stark contrast to what we usually have on marathon day, the electric nature of the city, in stark contrast to what's going on with law enforcement officials right now. the frenetic pace that's going on at so many levels. >> our "morning joe" family -- mine especially -- we love boston. we come here any time we can. we love going to fenway park. we love walking around the city. we feel the people. there is a certain type of person that makes a bostonian. the marathon, you're right, it unites the city and the world and the country in a way like no place else on earth. it is the oldest marathon in the world. >> and it's international in nature which makes you think, if this is a terrorist attack -- i think it is -- i think you're going to see a situation where that was -- the very nature we celebrate is one of the symbols of doing this. it could be on the 15th of april, too, something that's a symbol of more of a domestic terrorist act but the fact that it was coordinated seconds apart and synchronized that way, the site and date, all lead people to believe that this is something that's being investigated as a terrorist act of some sort. >> you talk about how the feeling of unity and exhilaration of the marathon and how that just turned in a matter of seconds to devastation and a sense of shock and a lack of understanding, conception of how this could happen. tell me where you were when you heard the news. >> i was driving up ready to go to washington. i heard that the event occurred. i heard that there would be interruptions at the airport and as a member of homeland security, i wanted to be here in the city. we have been here in the past, just a few miles from here we had a field hearing investigating these very types of issues at logan airport where we brought the committee up for preparedness to find out how prepared we could indeed be for these things. we -- i could let people know this -- that one of the best fusion centers, one of the best joint task forces in the country is right here and that's what's taking place right now. i had a call on my way from a staff from the white house who said anything that you need, anything that the city needs, it was a call that i'm sure went through all the local officials here. again, in this element of surrealness, to have a place that -- on a day that there was going to be that much pulling together internationally even and nationally. >> it's sick. >> to have a call from the white house saying anything we could do, that's one thing that people should take some confidence in at this point. i think most of the people in boston -- most of the people in the country are geared at victims an their families. as a district attorney for years and certainly that's when my thoughts -- >> absolutely. so many of the people who are injured, mike, are in critical condition. the injuries are described as gruesome and that in the streets of boston, when people are supposed to still for many hours be crossing the finish line to the screams and collapse of joy from their family, they were being tourniquets being conducted in the streets. it is just surreal. it is not something you ever, ever expect to see. >> well, mika, the scene itself, bo boylston street, a combination of super bowl sunday, new year's eve, it is a celebratory atmosphere, it is filled with people from all around the world, not just around the united states. and five blocks from here right now it is a crime scene. it is a homicide scene. it is the side of multiple homicides and multiple injuries. congressman, iyou alluded to th cooperation that's been going on not just yesterday and today but for months now. can you speak to the preparations to secure, to try and secure this particular race, any race like this, in a free an open society. >> here in boston they meet each and every day. i've been there at the fusion site exchanging information, federal, state, local. i know -- just last november the biggest exercise in new england occurred planning for this with almost 2,000 law enforcement personnel. they're prepared for this. are you ever prepared for everything? no. i think certainly as this unrafls and we look back, i've been in contact with homeland security officials as well, as well as the chair of the committee, and at the appropriate time we are going to be peeling back looking at this evidence, seeing what happens, seeing what we can do to improve. with terrorists today, it is a moving ball. you prepare for the unexpected and each terrible tragedy like this we learn something from it and move forward. but they're prepared. people should be aware of this -- they're mobilizing now at a dynamic pace, going at every level chasing every bit of evidence. and that part people can feel secure about. >> finding out who is behind it will certainly help. willie geist from new york has a question for you. >> congressman, good morning. are you in a very unique position of having to manage the emotions of your district of something terrible that's happened to people you know and love and also being on the homeland security committee back in washington. are you able to separate those two things, first of all of, and what have you heard in terms of the investigation, any new information you can bring us this morning? >> i think when i was a district attorney, it's hard to separate because you are talking to victims' families right away and you're dealing with what affects you as a human being. one thing i can assure you, at all levels, people have moved on. they have a job to do, they're doing it. they have to separate that emotion and move forward. i think that as we look at this event at a local level, i'm quite confident knowing the resources that are here, knowing that i'm hearing from the white house itself that there will be no assets that will not be used that might be necessary to get to the bottom of this. and i believe sincerely that we will find out who had's responsible and there will be justice but we also have to look at this in the perspective of what we learn from it and what we can do to prevent future tragedies. >> congress manage bill keating, thank you very much for coming on the show. we'll put joe in your seat. tight quarters here on boylston street but we really appreciate you coming on. keep us posted. >>> here with us now from capitol hill, we are republican congressman from new york and chairman of the homeland security committee, subcommittee on counterintelligence and terrorism, we have representative peter king. peter, gosh. we've had you on many times and these circumstances are some of the worst ever. first of all, if you can just tell us what you know, what you're hearing in terms of reports coming in to you on the very latest on the investigation and what happened here in boston. >> well, clearly this was a terrorist attack. this was coordinated. you had multiple explosions. you had someone able to penetrate security. amateurs don't do that. this was well planned and coordinated. it was a terrorist attack. it is a question of who did it. again, it is too early to say. obviously we have to consider whether it was islamic jihad but it can also be white supremacists or anti-government people. that's all being looked at right now. as congressman keating said, this investigation is in the early stages but i think there is a lot of information, evidence, available that law enforcement is going to be able to move relatively quickly on this and so i'm -- again, i can assure you that all elements of the federal, state and local governments are involved in this and it does show though -- i think this should and wake-up call to everyone that the war against terrorism is far from over and we're never fully safe. the post-9/11 world that we live in, we have to be expecting and on the lookout for something like this every day and when people complain about being stopped at the airport or they talk about too much security at events, that's why that security is there, because of what happened yesterday. >> all right. so obviously there are a lot of "what nexts" here in boston. tell us what's next in washington on capitol hill moving forward and addressing this. >> i'm on the intelligence committee. we'll be getting a briefing later this morning which we will get updates on what's known. staying in touch with law enforcement, counterterrorism officials to track this down, to see if there is an international component, to see if it was a lone wolf, looking back on it, i can tell you that i received two top secret briefings last week on the current threat levels in the united states and there was no evidence of this at all. no intelligence that seemed to be out there. now people will look back and see if something was missed. i don't know if there was or not. then we have to find out again if we can locate where this person's from, hoe was involved with, whether or not there's other possible plots out there. there is a whole range of topics that are being looked at right now. one thing we learned after 9/11 -- nothing can be looked at in isolation. when something occurs you look to all the ramifications, why it happened, how it happened, what can happen in the future and who else can be involved. >> congressman, we are about 18 hours into the event, 18 hours ago, two explosive devices, five blocks from where we're seated today. in the intervening hours, at least among the people i have spoken to, there was no sense from intelligence chatter prior to the explosions, no sense from anybody being warned that this thing was going to occur and since the event occurred, there's been no indication that anyone has claimed responsibility. have you heard anything other than that? >> i've heard the exact same as you. in fact my staff was talking to people in boston, with the boston police yesterday. i was talking with the nypd. obviously we were talking to people in the fbi and throughout the federal government. no, from all indicators there was no intelligence chatter beforehand. there is no indications this was going to happen but it also shows, mike, that if someone is serious enough, if someone is able to construct an explosive device and they are able to get to the scene, it is very difficult to stop them. no matter how much security you have. the person can preplan this in advance. that's why the more intelligence we can get up front, the better. for instance, in new york, that's why ray kelly has at merchants of businesses, if anyone's purchasing any products -- ball bearings, beauty equipment, anything that can be remotely constructed as a bomb it is a requirement to let police know. but most of the police departmen -- boston police department is an outstanding police department. we have some friends in congress who are talking about cutting back on homeland security funding. say that the police are getting too much money to fight terrorism. that we haven't been attack, why is all that money needed. the fact is they may track down 99 cases and they turn out to be nothing. the one that gets through is what happened yesterday in boston. that's why the police in boston and new york all over the country need the support of homeland security in getting the funds they need to stop these attacks. >> congressman peter king, thank you very much. we'll see you soon. >> mike, our prayers go out to all the people in boston. >> thank you, congressman. >> absolutely. thank you. >>> up next, he knows boston as well as anybody. congressman steven lynch joins the conversation next on "morning joe." back in just a moment. i know what you're thinking... transit fares! as in the 37 billion transit fares we help collect each year. no? oh, right. you're thinking of the 1.6 million daily customer care interactions xerox handles. or the 900 million health insurance claims we process. so, it's no surprise to you that companies depend on today's xerox for services that simplify how work gets done. which is...pretty much what we've always stood for. with xerox, you're ready for real business. >>> seconds after those bombs went off we saw civilians running to help the victims right alongside members of the boston police department and boston ems. and in the hours that followed, police and medical personnel from across the region have sent dozens, maybe even hundreds, of volunteers to help us here in boston. that's what americans do in times of crisis. we come together and we help one another. moments like these, terrible as they are, don't show our weakness. they show our strength. >> democratic congressman from massachusetts and candidate for john kerry's former senate seat, representative stephen lynch. mike barnicle? >> congressman, you've been in the house of representatives for a good long time. you're a native of south boston. you've lived there all of your life, still live there. talk, if you will, about the neighborhood aspect of the marathon. you represent a number of police and firefighters. probably half the people in your block participated in this marathon in one way or another. but talk about that. >> well, it is a neighborhood event. but it's also an international event. it's sort of a strange combination of those. but, look, we had families, some of the victims here are just neighborhood people, brought their kids to watch the race. i had a staff member who was running for dana farber. we were all very intently focused on the race and seeing our friends finish. more runners that are raising money in that race than running to win it. and just a terrible, terrible, terrible tragedy. and the human part of this -- for the neighborhood. for the neighborhood. boston's really a small city of neighborhoods and so when the names come out and some of them have come out, we all know those families. er that part of our community here as well. we're feeling it right now and we can already feel that outpouring of love from our neighbors here in the city of boston, across the state and across the country for those victims and their families, what they're going through right now. i was with some of the victims' families last night at the hospital and that's what sustains them right now. they're so thankful, so thankful for the first responders, for the boston police, for the boston fire, for the ems, the way they responded. i talked to one of the dads who tragically lost his son yesterday and he said that if it hadn't been for the civilians after the blast who jumped in, along with the professionals, he would have lost his daughter as well. but it was that quick thinking -- >> are you talking about the father who lost his 8-year-old son? >> right. >> we heard the heart breaking story of the son running out, hugging him, then going back -- >> they were all watching. the dad is a runner but he wasn't running yesterday. >> the dad wasn't running. okay. >> they were -- they were there to support some of their friends who were running. but the mom and dad were friends of ours. >> what did he tell you about the moments before and after the blast? >> well, they were all intently focused on the race. they were looking through -- there is a stream of runners coming in at that point and they were all intently looking for the faces of their friends who were running. and the kids were all up on the barrier. you see these barriers behind us. they had their feet up on the pegs trying to get a little bit higher view because their daughter's only 5, their sons were i think 11 and 8. so they were all focused forward and the blast came from sort of the back and to the side. they were all -- >> so the 5-year-old daughter also critically hurt? >> right. >> how is she doing? >> the family -- they're going to make a statement a little bit later this morning so i'd rather let them make their statement before i comment on that. they need our prayers is what they need right now. >> what have you heard from law enforcement officers? >> well, we've had a lot of briefings during the course of the day yesterday. i haven't had a morning briefing yet but -- >> what's the last thing you heard last night? >> they were still doing the evidence gathering at that point so the scene -- the bomb scenes, two of them really, were still being combed or there were literally hundreds of csi and investigative personnel down there picking up evidence. >> have you heard anything about the home that was searched? did you get any briefings on that? >> i heard that through the media. i did not hear that from an official briefing. but i did hear it, yeah. >> we've been talking, mike and i have been talking, so shaughnessy and bill bratton about the importance of patriots' day here. mike, of course, set it up beautifully. it is funny, for those of us that are outside the city, you forget when patriots' day is coming up. i get red sox updates on my phone all the time and i hear, the game starts at 11:00. i'm like 11:00. it immediately hit me. patriots' day. it is such a special day, mike, in the life of this city. it always has been. >> it always has been throughout our lives, steve. it is a combination of the super bowl, new year's eve, christmas eve, st. patrick's day. it's the whole deal. >> it really is. >> it is the whole deal. what the congressman just spoke to is one of the magic parts of marathon day. at the conclusion of the marathon, after the winners, the professional runners have crossed the finish line, you get the families, the people running for causes, it is obviously the beginning of school vacation week here in massachusetts so you have thousands of children, along with hundreds of thousands who have gathered to touch someone, to cheer someone on, a parent, a relative, a sister. and this young lad, 8 years of age, with his mother and his sister and his dad is now a casualty. it is a crime scene up the street and what was a scene of joy. always has been a scene of joy. and will be again. will be again. >> oh, absolutely. i guarantee you, they'll have twice as many runners next year than they had this year. the people of this city and this state and this country won't stand for this and that's why this is such a rare, rare event in this country. that's why next year on patriots' day, i guarantee, it will be the biggest and the best patriots' day that we've had in our lifetimes. >> and off of that, which is a true testimony to what will occur next year, there is an ancient boston expression, which we cannot employ on the air but it ends with "hey." hey, they'll be here next year. because there is no fear in this city. there will be no fear. a resilient place. >> it is so violative, that attack yesterday, because it does embody -- here we're very proud of the fact and -- that democracy, the fight for democracy here in massachusetts from lexington and concord to the tea party in boston, there's just a sense of history here that is -- it is embodied on that day, patriots' day. to have this attack on this day just makes your blood boil. >> please let the family know that the young boy lost so tragically yesterday, that our thoughts an our prayers are with them and certainly with their other children. >> thank you. >> thank you for being with us. we really do appreciate you coming on today. >>> we will be back. nbc's tom costello has been following the national security response to the bombing. we will have him join us from the national mall in washington next on "morning joe." . >>> my instinct was to run across by the american -- by the flags and start picking up people and bringing to the emergency room here. >> you've been cut. you are covered with blood. >> i was carrying. somebody who lost both of their legs. i was carrying this flag and i just -- my instinct wants to go help and see what i can do and let's just pray for the angels. >> security is being stepped up in cities across the country in the wake of yesterday's bombing in boston. nbc's tom costello is on the national mall in washington. tom, good morning. >> reporter: hi, guys, good morning to you. today is emancipation day here in d.c. it is a d.c. holiday and they have a big parade planned for pennsylvania avenue. it is going to go on as planned. in london this weekend, they have of course the big marathon and they also have another marathon planned for oklahoma city in about two weeks. all of this as the threat of terrorism looms very large. in washington, always viewed as a potential terrorist target, a show of force. heavily armed police and dog teams patrolling the subways, checking trash bins. in new york, the nypd and grand central station and times square. and across the country the lapd also out in force at the dodgers game, union station and lax. but security experts warn ensuring 100% security at a public event like the boston marathon simply isn't realistic. >> if somebody wants to go out and kill people, they can. the question remains is can they cause mass casualties and can they sustain an attack. >> reporter: oklahoma city, 1995. 168 dead, including 19 children. timothy mcveigh was convicted and executed for planting the bomb. the atlanta olympics, 1996. two dead, more than 100 wounded after a backpack holding pipe bombs exploded. domestic terrorist eric rudolph was arrested seven years later. london, 2005. 52 dead, 700 wounded after coordinated suicide attacks on the underground and bus systems. times square 2010. a car bomb failed to explode. police later arrested a pakistani-american trying to board a flight to the middle east. this man's job when he was at the secret service -- protect president obama with 1.8 million people on the washington mall gathered for his first inauguration. >> you can't guarantee anything. all you do in the field of security is reduce the probe ability of an event like this to something so miniscule if something does happen your response element afterward is enough to keep the casualties to a minimum. >> many americans have grown tired of war, tsa checkpoints and heavy security at sporting events. former national director of counterterrorism says the threat remains very real. >> if this turns out to be either domestic or international terrorism it will remind people of the difficulty of the tasks that we have been working against over the past ten years. >> reporter: experts say that while we can certainly prevent and address more security issues than we did before 9/11, trying to protect a soft target like a marathon is just increasingly difficult and they point out that a terrorist only has to find the weakest, softest point and attack there. of course that's where we're all most vulnerable. guys, back to you. >> i would say it is almost impossible to protect completely. but tom, talk about, if you could, what we can expect now from the likely places where they will step up security. the tsa, at the airports, at train stations, and public events that you say are still on schedule. what can we expect? >> homeland security has been pretty tight-lipped but we can tell you anecdotally that we've already seen signs of that in the airport, as well as in train stations. airports, i should say, as in the train stations. this is a city, d.c., along with new york and now of course boston, that's always conscious of and always aware of and trying to plan for any eventuality. the police chief here says this city is going to go on as if it is a normal routine but always guarding against the possibility of terrorism. yesterday they deployed more of these high-profile tactical units to the subways, if you will. today, of course, they've got the parade. this is a constant -- d.c. points out, it is constantly watching out and aware of the issues. >> nbc's tom costello in washington, d.c., thanks very much. >>> coming up, pulitzer prize winning journalist joins the show. we'll be right back. the only thing we'd ever grown together was a record collection. no. there was that fuzzy stuff on the gouda. 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[ children laughing ] aarp. an ally for real possibilities. find tools and resources at aarp.org/possibilities. >>> the american people will say a prayer for boston tonight and michelle and i send our deepest prayers to the families of the victims in the wake of this senseless loss. boston is a tough and resilient town. so are its people. i'm supremely confident that bostonians will pull together, take care of each other and move forward as one proud city, and as we do, the american people will be with them every single step of the way. >> all right. president obama responding to the tragedy here in boston. joining us now here on boylston street, pulitzer prize winning journalist ron suskine. >> good to see you again, ron. when you wrote the 1% doctrine absolutely it was alluding to the fact cheney and the bush administration decided if there were a 1% chance we were going to get struck, they were going to do whatever it took to stop that from happening. that's worked for the better part of a decade but yesterday a random attack and most frightening, really no warning at all. no chatter, no nothing. this is new. >> well, it is new. it's also new that a big public american event, boston marathon, the kind of thing the world looks forward to got hijacked. it is more than loss of life. it is symbolic. >> how have things changed since you wrote the back, the aftermath of 9/11 on police gathering and intelligence gathering. how much have we learned? >> we spent hundreds of millions of dollars. we'll get a bang of our buck test here the next few days. i think we have changed. i think people's understanding of how these terrorist conversations go has changed. we need to be -- keep calm, carry on, what do the british say. we need to be forceful but not hysterical. the thing the president's language there was very measured. i think that's part of that evolution. i think we're going to see a lot in the next few days as to how the country has grown. there are other countries that have had more significant issues like this one, the brits, t israelis obviously, and part of what they've understood is the key is, is it a way to be ourselves, forcefully, but ourselves, nonetheless. >> mike, you were talking yesterday after this happened about the great tragedy. obviously the 8-year-old boy who died, his sister who was seriously injured. the two brothers that each lost a leg. there are so many human stories that are tragedies that will change lives forever. but you did say that we were fortunate that it happened in a city that has the best hospitals, not only in america but in the world, and also a quick response post -- again, 10, 11 years after 9/11, that shows how much we've learned over the past decade. >> well, yesterday at the finish line, there is a world class trauma team right there at the finish line to take care of runners who may have been dehydrated. they are employed immediately into a far more serious situation. three or four world class hospitals all within three or four minutes ambulance ride of the scene itself. but we had the attempt -- failed attempt in times square. right? we have this successful attempt to instill fear into our culture yesterday. but it's been a period of time of extraordinary success in combating terrorism that's struck so many other areas of the world. >> absolutely right. i think that what we see now is this sort of shock to the system to say, wow, we have been pretty good. this interdiction has been successful in a lot of ways. the intelligence gathering, domestically and abroad. some of the civil liberties that are getting a little bit crimped on our side, what we do in airports. it is much more difficult -- on planes and trains. but part of what you think about, what the terrorist mind thinks about, where are the openings? you don't want to start thinking about the terrorist handbook here but that's part of the way this mentality works. >> this was a huge opening when you have so many people and so much going on and it literally, it seems like looking at it at this point that the only thing that could have been begun to maybe try and stop this is the concept of if you see something, say something. >> absolutely right. >> which is hard. >> you see how hard this would have been to stop. >> i don't know how. >> it would be almost impossible. >> when you have a 26-mile route. >> tens of thousands of people. >> and all those backpacks. people finish -- >> they put things down through the race so it's actually -- even though in train stations an airports if you see an unaccompanied bag you're told to go tell someone about it. at a marathon you're not thinking that way. >> i think a key issue will be how these big public events change or don't change going forward. will their character be altered by heightened security. if that happens it will be kind of a loss and a kind of victory for folks that do this. >> you talk about tug-of-war with civil liberties and safety. we were talking earlier about london. cctv everywhere. you can't do anything in london where the police, the authorities, can't trace you down. that helped them crack a couple of high-profile cases. do you think americans may be more willing to have closed circuit television across major cities where terror attacks may be happening? because right now we're scrambling a day later. you know if this happened in london they would have been able to follow whoever did this. >> there's no doubt right now they're downloading all those cameras in the finish line. there's just -- there's thousands of hours of videotape together. but the question is, how we might change just along those lines. i think people will feel a loss if there are cameras everywhere. the question is what do we trade for that security. >> here we go again with that. really quick, barnicle. >> one of the things that's in play here is our culture itself. our attention span. increasingly as a society it is shorter and shorter. september 11th seems to some people as if it were 200 years ago. we have the phrase "war on terror." do you think it is perhaps now necessary as we ease into the second decade of the 21st century, that we reinforce with people in this country that it is a daily duel with terror? not a war on terror. a daily duel in terror. >> mike, you're talking about precisely the shift in language that this is maybe an opportunity this terrible event provides. that's part of how we grow and mature as a nation. >> ron suskind, thank you so much. >> isn't it great to see ron again? >> yes, it is. we get along great. >>> before we go to break, images from social media of a message written on the sidewalk in front of the home of 8-year-old martin richard, 1 of 3 people killed in yesterday's terror attack. we'll be right back. live from boston. alec, for this mission i upgraded your smart phone. ♪ right. but the most important feature of all is... the capital one purchase eraser. i can redeem the double miles i earned with my venture card to erase recent travel purchases. and with a few clicks, this mission never happened. uh, what's this button do? 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i seem to have to say that too often. i have to not say it is a great day for america for some random act of madness. >> and our final thoughts -- >> just a random, random act of madness and a tragedy. it's been visited on boston families on a day that, as mike said, is just the most special day in this city. >> it is supposed to be. we'll have our final thoughts on all this when we come back live from boston. ♪ (announcer) wake them up with breakfast-favorite flavors like salmon, egg, cheese, and whole grain oats. friskies. now serving breakfast. with simple, real ingredients, like roasted peanuts, creamy peanut butter, and a rich dark-chocolate flavor, plus 10 grams of protein, so it's energy straight from nature to you. nature valley protein bars. and didn't know where to start. stused a contractor beforeu. at angie's list, you'll find reviews on everything from home repair to healthcare written by people just like you. no company can pay to be on angie's list, so you can trust what you're reading. angie's list is like having thousands of close neighbors where i can go ask for personal recommendations. that's the idea. before you have any work done, check angie's list. from roofers to plumbers to dentists and more, angie's list -- reviews you can trust. i love you, angie. sorry, honey. to try on these amazing depend silhouette briefs. oh, it's cheryl burke! who's this guy? security. cheryl, hi! i know you don't need one but would you try on the depend silhouette for charity? right now? under this? why not? for charity? now's the perfect time, cause with soft fabric and waistband, the best protection looks, fits and feels just like underwear. even doing the chacha. whaaat? ok, america. cheryl burke tried the depend silhouette. get a free sample so you can too. >>> as you all know, this whole community has been dealing with a horrific event today. two explosions on boylston street near the finish line of today's boston marathon. this is like a bomb explosion that we hear about in the news in baghdad or israel or some other tragic place. >> it was loud. it was really, really loud. and then people just chaos everywhere. >> i knew immediately it was a bomb. it was a cloud of smoke, people were scrambling. >> everybody was going crazy. at first it almost sounded like a cannon blast but it felt so strong it literally almost blew my head off. >> moments like these, terrible as they are, don't show our weakness, they show our strength. >> make no mistake, we will get to the bottom of this an we will find out who did this, we'll find out why they did this. any responsible individuals, any responsible groups, will feel the full weight of justice. boston is a tough and resilient town. so are its people. >> there was just families all around us with kids yelling and screaming and we just wanted to try and get away as quick as possible. >> we re-affirmed that on days like this there are no republicans or democrats. we are americans, united in concern for our fellow citizens. >> as we come back to our live coverage in boston, we're thinking and praying for the family members of those who lost their lives yesterday and those who are still fighting for their lives today in this city. having multiple surgeries, complex surgeries, mike, and we do thank god that they are being taken care of by the best doctors in the best hospitals in the world. >> yeah. we stand today at the intersection of grief and optimism. what happened yesterday happened but the army of the good far outweighs the army of the evil and good will prosper and survive and people got up today in this city, the sun rose, they went to work, children will be out to play today in this city and elsewhere. yesterday was yesterday. today is today. and tomorrow will be tomorrow. >> and boston will be defiant. >> we love this city. mike's family has many ties to it. we come here as a show as fans and we will certainly be back, many times again. >> no doubt about it. >>> if you
MSNBC
Apr 15, 2013 9:00pm PDT
correspondent pete williams has been working on this story from our washington bureau. he has more on it tonight. >> tonight investigators know this attack involved two bombs. how many more is unclear. at least five other packages found on the street were deemed suspicious and destroyed. there were many packages to check because after the explosions many people dropped what they were carrying and ran leaving their packages behind. we have heard conflicting accounts about whether there were some unexploded bombs. some officials say yes. the two other packages that were found that contained some other form of explosives but others say no. several say the two bombs that did go off included shrapnel. >> people williams in our washington bureau with the latest that's known about this investigation. thanks. during our live coverage during the afternoon today we heard from a lot of eyewitnesss including two journalists with the boston globe. steve silva and david able. they both walked us through what they saw. >> at the finish line getting the late runners. most of those were charity runners.
MSNBC
Apr 18, 2013 6:00am PDT
williams joins me now live with the latest. pete, the fact that the fbi is withholding these photos, what is the reason? they've been wanting public help from the beginning of this investigation. but they don't seem to want to put this in public just yet. what's holding them back? >> not yet. i would guess frankly by the end of today it's a likelihood we'll begin to see these pictures. it just depends on whether they can run the string out that they have and identify them on their own. they would prefer to do it that way of course because that way they can preserve some element of surprise here. the problem is they don't know who these people are. they are focused especially on two people now. two young men and they don't know who they are so they what they want to do is find where they are and question them and see what they were up to. they would prefer to do that on their own if they can. so far they have not been able to. i believe they will release these pictures and it may happen today, chuck. >> the fact they would release the pictures, that would be then them saying we need help f
MSNBC
Apr 15, 2013 10:00pm PDT
now with the latest on that investigation, nbc news justice correspondent, pete williams. >> lawrence, good evening. investigators know for certain that this attack involved two bombs. but what they don't know the is whether there were any other explosives involved. frankly the information is confused tonight. at least five other packages found on the street were deemed to be suspicious and destroyed by boston police and bomb squad techs. there were many packages to check, officials say because after the explosions people dropped what they were carrying and ran away. we have heard conflicting accounts about whether there were also some unexploded bombs. some officials say tonight that the two other packages were found that contained some forms of explosives but other officials say there were just the two bombs, the two that went off. safe to say that remains unclear. several officials say the bombs that did go off included shrapnel that multiplied the injuries, b.b.s and ball bearings, they say. they are looking at surveillance video to see if they can see anyone placing packages at t
MSNBC
Apr 16, 2013 1:00am PDT
correspondent pete williams. >> lawrence, good evening. investigators know for certain that this attack involved two bombs, but what they don't know is whether there were any other explosives involved. and frankly, the information on this is confused tonight. at least five other packages found on the street were deemed to be suspicious, and were destroyed by boston police and bomb squad techs. and there were many packages to check, officials say, because after the explosions, people simply dropped what they were carrying and ran away. we have heard, quite frankly, conflicting accounts about whether there were exploded bombs. officials say tonight that two other packages were found that contain some form of explosives, but other officials say there were just the two bombs. the two that went off. so safe to say that remains unclear. several officials say the bombs that did go off included shrapnel that multiplied the injuries, small bits of metal, bbs and ball bearings they're saying. they're looking at surveillance video to see anyone placing packages at places where the bombs wen
MSNBC
Apr 15, 2013 4:00pm PDT
don't think we know how many devices there were other than two. >> pete williams is with us with more on the investigation. it's your beat now. the fbi. >> let me pick up on that. we still don't know how many explosive devices there were. we know that two went off. there could have been others because packages found on the street were deemed suspicious. they were destroyed but we haven't heard any confirmation on whether at least five other packages actually were explosive devices. some officials say there is reason to think at least a few of them were but we still don't have confirmation on that. that's number one. number two, there is no suspect in custody. however, there are some people that the investigators are very interested in talking to. one of them is a young person who had a student visa who has burns and was seen running from the area. now, of course many people were running from the area and some were injured. so what particular reason there is to be interested in this person, we're not sure of. but nonetheless, that person is being aggressively questioned now. offic
MSNBC
Apr 19, 2013 8:00am PDT
williams who has been watching this as well. what are you hearing? pete williams has been watching this story for us. we have michael with us as well since overnight. michael, early on today about seven hours ago, you reported the first suspect that was confirmed dead. what are you hearing at the moment from your sources? >> at the moment, we are all waiting on the results to see if they have the primary suspect surrounded. if they are going to take him into custody and then the alleged accomplice on the connecticut police who took the amtrak train in connecticut. a couple of things. we are still standing behind the principal staging area where we had convoys and military vehicles and trucks and buses and motorcycles as though they were planning for a confrontation of some kind. the intensity of the activity seems to have awaited. we suggest that the reports of the cordoned off area may be real and that's where the principal confrontation will be taking place. the thing to remember is the ied that was found in the city of charlestown was the real reason that they put the entire city on
MSNBC
Apr 17, 2013 6:00pm PDT
-generated chaos. joining us now, pete williams, who i should tell you, is in the same building i am in but is at another camera because he needs to be close to his desk phone. it truly is that kind of day in the news, pete. thank you very much for being here. >> you bet. >> what do we know about what authorities have been able to find from combing through the pictures and videos in the two days since the bombing? >> well, i think you've summarized it well. the holy grail for them was to see someone setting down a heavy backpack or duffel bag, a black nylon bag, that they believe this relatively heavy bomb was carried in. they think it weighed about 20 pounds, setting it down at the scene of one or the other of the bombings, and then getting away. they believe they have found a picture like that, first from the store surveillance camera that you noted, but they since have been able to triangulate that or get other views of it from other pictures and recordings that people who are in the area have sent them. people who have sent them pictures not knowing what exactly was to be found o
MSNBC
Apr 16, 2013 1:00pm PDT
correspondent pete williams from washington. so, pete, the very latest on the pressure cooker scenario that you're hearing? >> right. as you say, used for decades in terms of building bombs, so that's not going to be an area of inquiry that will immediately lead them in a certain direction, because the instructions, unfortunately, for making these devices are all over internet. just last month, the al qaeda online magazine "inspire" repeated an article that showed how to build pressure cooker bombs. so they've been out there for a long time. the part, the components of this device appear not to be very fancy. in addition to that, there were shrapnel, ball bearings, bbs, from the sound of the doctors you heard at the beginning of your program, apparently nails as well. and then for the explosive basically gun powder, smokeless powder that's commonly available in sporting goods stores. so all these pieces are easily available. some kind of timer as well. then placed in black sacks and put in two different spots. so what investigators say as the devices, themselves, are crude, but they were ob
MSNBC
Apr 18, 2013 10:00am PDT
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[ doctor ] enbrel, the number one biologic medicine prescribed by rheumatologists. ♪ ♪ >>> right now on "andrea mitchell reports" -- a day to pray, a day to heal. >> i experienced the terror of a car bomb that exploded on my route. i will never forget the sound of the blast, the confused rush of humanity. >> president obama kmsts a city and a nation still coming to grips with monday's bombings. >> it should be pretty clear by now that they picked the wrong city to do it. not here in boston. we may be momentarily knocked off our feet. but we'll pick ourselves up. we'll keep going. we will finish the race. >> and in a small texas town, the frantic search for survivors after an explosion with the force of a small earthquake rips through a fertilizer plant. leveling dozens of homes, a middle school, a nursing home only blocks away. >> we heard a boom and right after the, right after we heard the boom and the concussion hit. it was enough to -- take your breath away. >> the school is gone. the apartments are gone. it's horrible. >> they are still in the search and rescue process. it is a very slow, methodical search at this point and they are using every available resource they have to do that correctly and make sure we don't miss anything or anybody. >>> here in washington an explosion of anger and frustration over the senate's refusal to pass any gun legislation. in a searing "new york times" column former congresswoman gabrielle giffords calls lawmakers cowards for ignoring pleas from the newtown families. >> wow, what a day yesterday. what a terrible day for our country. failing to pass background checks, was a moment of shame for the senate. at least gabby and i think so. some of you may have read her opinion piece in the "new york times." gabby is angry today. and she's horrified by the decision of a minority of her former colleagues, to block progress on this measure. >> good day, i'm andrea mitchell, a very busy day all around the country. here in washington as well. the president tried to comfort the nation in boston and talked about the enduring spirit of bostonians. nbc's ann thompson and lester holt are live in boston and nbc justice correspondent pete williams is here with us in washington. you were in the cathedral, it was so moving to watch. tell me about that gathering and cardinal o'malley and the president and mayor menino and of course the governor. >> you know, andrea, it sort of ping-ponged from the memorial service to almost a pep rally for boston. i couldn't help but think as i watched mayor thomas menino stand, that he came to personify his city. he has been hospitalized for a respiratory infection and a broken leg. he stood today to deliver remarks and like his city, he has been wounded, but he is not down. and he told the world that boston is a city of courage, strength and compassion. and he said they will be back. and then when president obama spoke, i mean it really was almost like a pep rally. people were cheering, he got a couple of standing ovations. and especially when he said that they will come back, the world will come back and run the 118th boston marathon, which will happen next april, people just stood, i saw one man, he was wiping away tears from his eyes. it was a very emotional moment. but this is a city that has been bruised this week. but is determined to get back up and will go on. and as the president said, you could feel it in that cathedral, they are determined to finish this race. >> leften, you have been in boston, you've seen, what bostonians feel in their gut. tell me what's happening there today, the search continues for evidence of course, we'll get to pete on that in a moment. >> it was remarkable to watch people. i got here early this morning. a little before 6:00 in the morning. and the line was already stretched down the street for people wanting to get the 1,000 seats that had been reserved for members of the general public. it was a cold morning, there were people who didn't get in, standing behind us, clutching radios and smartphones watching the service. there were smatterings of applause at the same moments we heard the applause inside the cathedral itself and afterwards, a choir spontaneously began singing patriotic songs "god bless america" and the national anthem. people were clearly moved by this. it's interesting when you see these kind of services, andrea. we talk about the goodness of people. people running toward the explosion and helping people. and the truth is, that's the norm. that's why we have the events. so we can remember people are mostly good, people mostly want to do the right thing. you look back to flight 93 and the passengers and crew aboard that. that's the american spirit, that's the boston spirit and i think there's real importance to having these kinds of services that we can remind ourselves, in these unspeakable acts of violence, most people continue to want to be a part of this. they're offering the tips that pete will talk about in a moment. a little bit of information, the photos they're offering, the videos they're offering police in hoping they can track down who did this. it was an important moment for boston and the rest of the country. especially near the end when the president talked about the fact that our freedoms are dear to us that we will still have the ability to gather and enjoy special moments like the boston marathon. andrea? >> lester, exactly right. he hit every note, as you say, he, by the way the president is right now at mass general. the white house says he will be visiting with the caregivers, with patients, with the families as well privately and before the service today, at the chapel of holy cross, he met with crystal campbell's family. the heartbreaking moment we all experienced with her mother the other day. pete, on the investigative side, i know that janet napolitano testified this morning and play a little bit of her caution to everyone. >> the investigation is proceeding apace and it just, you know, this is not an ncis episode. sometimes you have to take time to properly you know, put the chain together to identify the perpetrators. >> and pete said something that you as an experienced justice and homeland security correspondent know all too well. the pieces are being put together. tell us where we stand today. >> they're moving on several tracks, andrea. the photo track may be among the most promising. the government believes it has identified two people it wants to find, identify, find and interview. that have been seen acting suspiciously, carrying backpacks, duffle bags that are heavy. they think the bomb weighed 20 pounds, so they're interested in talking to them. they may or may not show us pictures of that. there was some back and forth on this the last 24 hours, about the advantages and disadvantages and we were thinking we might hear about it this afternoon. we may not. that is still in flux. as for the devices themselves, the fbi has been doing what they do on the forensic side, getting the pieces, say where did these pieces come from. going around to hobby stores in the boston area to see if some of the batteries and other components for the devices could have been purchased there. or where else they might be sold. i think investigators are leaning toward the idea that the bomts were detonated by some sort of remote device. not a timer. so that is something they're pursuing as well. looking at where the pressure cooker would have come from. all the other parts, the gun powder, that's the sort of shoe leather forensic side of this as well. looking at telephone logs, andrea. for people on cell phones and the time right before the bombing, because it's believed that some of the people they're interested in finding were on cell phones. lots of different avenues, including talking to witnesses and analyzing the pieces. we know for a fact, that they have identified through pictures some people, talked to them, ruled them out. now they're in that process on the photo side. >> and just to clarify our terminology here, because we've been so careful. you more than anyone. when and if they find the people, the interesting people in those photographs -- who are "they"? are they witnesses? potential persons of interest? what do you call them if they find them and bring them in for questioning? >> certainly potential witnesses. because of the pictures. because of their proximity. if they talk to them and they believe they might have been responsible. then they'll become suspects and they'll charge them. >> thank you very much. that has not happened as of now. >> right, exactly. >> thanks, pete. >>> and our thanks to ann thompson and lester holt. meanwhile president obama has arrived at mass general to visit with the victims, nbc's ron allen is there. ron? >> hi there, andrea. there are still 11 patients here at mass general. the president arrived a little before the top of the hour. you can see behind me there are a lot of people taking long lunches, staff from the hospital, hoping to catch a glimpse of the motorcade at the entrance to the hospital, there are people out lining the entrance. the president didn't and would not come in the front door like this. he came around the back and no one saw him. the news from the hospitals across boston continues to be very good. there are 58 survivors in the hospital and only seven critical. the numbers originally were as high as 175. and 30 and the numbers have continued to come down every day and the doctors are very encouraged about that. there was a particularly good piece of news from one of the hospitals, boston medical center today, there's a 5-year-old boy who had been in critical condition and the doctors said he had recovered enough to take him off that list. and the doctors expressed a lot of optimism that he's going to be just fine. there are still two children, we believe at boston children's hospital who are in critical condition and the president or the first lady may go to visit them perhaps. because obviously their sensitivity and concern about the children who were injured in this horrific accident. this horrific attack, i should say. the news continues to be good from the hospitals here in boston. the every day there are more and more survivors who are released from the hospitals. the doctors caution that even though patients have been released, they still have a long, long way to go to recover from this attack. >> ron allen thank you very much outside mass general general. rescue workers in the town of west, texas are continuing their search for survivors in the aftermath of the explosion. it was felt more than 50 miles away. i heard it was felt from as far away as 70 miles. residents in the small town in central texas with a population of fewer than 3,000 are grappling with the devastation of their community after a fire tore through a fertilizer plant igniting an explosion that's so far killed at least 15 people, injuring more than 160. police today describe the scale of the damage. >> homes have been destroyed. there are homes flattened. part of that community is gone. >> nbc's charles hadlock is on the ground there and joins me now. what a night, what a scene. i know i was listening to you all night as you were driving there with maris campo and describing what you seen en route. what did you experience when you first got there? >> well we were in kaufman county following up on the district attorney murders there. and i was inside a building. there was a rumble about 8:55 last night, local time. 7:55 local time, 8:55 eastern and we all felt the thunderstorms aren't supposed to be here until later today, we were expecting rain. and then when i walked outside i realized there were no thunderstorms around. so what was that. and certainly within ten or 15 minutes, we started getting the phone calls about the disaster here in west. there is a pattern of destruction on the landscape here in west, texas. where the plant once stood. emanating out from that is a ring of damage that includes dozens of homes and businesses. that have been destroyed. the nearby high school has also been damaged. it caught on fire with the debris that rained down from the sky that night. and then a nearby nursing home is also damaged. the patients inside all elderly had to be removed last night and taken to shelter elsewhere in the county. and also a nearby partment complex has been battered and torn beyond recognition. beyond that, there's a death toll here. between five and 15 people are believed to have been killed by this explosion. and in that number is three to four firefighters, the first responders who went out to the plant last night to try to put out the fire, the fire chief says when he realized that the fire was getting out of control, he called his men back but by then it was too late. seven minutes later the entire plant exploded. >> what about toxic flums, i know there was a weather system coming through, did that blow the fumes out or was there any danger to people? >> no, the fire was brought under control early in the morning. they weren't concerned about that. the rains that came through helped tamhelp ed tamp down any of the smoldering fires. the debris that spread out from the tanks that exploded from that plant rained down on houses and cars, igniting those, there were multiple fires all over town as firefighters from all over the region converged on this little town to put out all the fires. and they did that and they're not concerned about the toxic fumes any more. emanating from the plant. they're treating it as a crime scene interestingly enough and say they want to rule that out before what they believe it really is, simply an industrial accident. >> charles, thank you very much. thanks for your report. >>> president obama and gun control advocates lost their battle in the senate wednesday, outflanked by the nra. a newtown father and the president both spoke in the rose garden after the votes. >> we return home with the determination that change will happen, maybe not today, but it will happen. >> do we really think that thousands of families whose lives have been shattered by gun violence don't have a right to weigh in on this issue? do we think their emotions, their loss, is not relevant to this debate? so all in all, this was a pretty shameful day for washington. >> pennsylvania senator bob casey joins me now. well, senator, the president saying it is a shameful day. and he took the stick to democrats as well as republicans. is ofa and his campaign organization going to campaign, do you think, against some democrats who voted against this? >> well it's hard to tell what will happen in a political context, but i will say it was a terrible day for the senate. and for the country. because across our state of pennsylvania, you know pennsylvania well, we've got the second highest number of nra members, we've got over a million hunders. despite those numbers, we have people who hunt and don't hunt who believe we can have some commonsense measures in place, all of which were not passed today. i should say none of which were passed yesterday. we have to keep going because i believe the country is moving in the direction of making sure we have these measures in place. unfortunately yesterday's vote didn't go in the direction i wanted it to. >> your republican senator from pennsylvania of course, pat toomey was the co-author with joe manchin of that compromise. and he also, from an nra gun-owning, hunting state, west virginia. what is the effect on pat toomey? and will you help him politically, if he is punished for his role in this? >> well it's hard to tell. in terms of the political analysis. i'll leave that to the political scientists, but i was grateful that both joe mansion and pat toomey worked together on one of these issues, the background measure. if that had passed, that would have been significant progress, but i would argue, not nearly enough. because until we have these weapons that should only be used on a battlefield in war. until we get those off the street and until we have a limitation on the number of bullets that one individual can shoot at one time, we're unfortunately going to have tragedies like newtown and other tragedies we've seen over a long period of time. i think the question for me or any united states senator is the following -- have i done enough, by my votes and by my actions to substantially reduce the likelihood that this tragedy or something like it will happen again. if you can answer that in good conscience, then you can sleep at night. i think that's a question a lot of us have to continue to ask ourselves. >> now the background checks were the only measure that most people thought had a chance of succeeding, of getting close to 60, not the assault weapon ban or the ban on the high-capacity magazines. what did you say to dianne feinstein, if anything after her measure? she persisted in the face of all opposition. and obviously it went down badly. that first vote on the assault weapon ban. >> well, diane, as i go out people have worked for years, have used a phrase in the bible, labored in the vineyard a long time. i just spoke to her a couple of minutes ago before coming here to do the interview and i commended her on the work that she did. and she is committed to keep going. i think we all are, to make sure that we can put in place measures that are common sense, that are supported across the board and i still think we're going to be able to do that. it's going to take time. just like anything difficult. this will take a lot of time and continuing dedication and commitment to do that. >> do you think it has any chance at all of coming back, this session? >> maybe not in the short run, meaning the next couple of weeks. but i think between now and the end of the session, we should try again. at least one more time on a number of these measures. >> bob casey, thank you, senator, thanks very much. >>> thanks, andrea. >>> this morning's interfaith service brought hundreds together in prayer and music for boston. we want to share more moments from that service throughout our show today. beginning with of course, yo-yo ma. 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[ crows ] >>> what were the conversations like with folks that you saw ended up voting against your wishes? >> just heartbreaking. you know you tell your story, you tell how you know your loved one died. and they just look at you with this blank look like, there's no compassion in their eyes. they don't really care. they're going to vote no, anyway. so -- >> and you felt that in the room? >> yes, i can feel it in the room. >> that was carly soto, her sister, victoria was gunned down at sandy hook elementary. joining me for the daily fix, chris cillizza and chuck todd. i've heard from others of the newtown families. they went through the motions on the hill. they often did not speak with senators, they spoke to staff and the staff would tell them, we don't know how the senator is going to vote. come on. but they went and they did it. >> well, they were trying to avoid the politics of just not, not looking them in the eye. >> they didn't want to face these people. >> it just shows you -- how, how much of politics -- in the emotion -- >> how fake it is, perhaps? >> it is fake sometimes. you know, so many people go in there, they feel as if they should look them in the eye. but then you have some that say look, look at saxby chambliss who came out and said i'm not going to agree with them. but how could i not say no to a vote with these people? i think some senators did have that reaction. some maybe hit it back. you hear that and -- it was part of me that was just like, i know exactly, i believe her. i believe that there are people that felt that they had to do this for politics, because it would have looked worse if they would have said no to the meeting and didn't know, maybe was afraid to react. maybe was afraid of making a false promise, who knows the reason for the blank stare. but i'm not surprised. >> chris cillizza, where did you come down on the politics of all this. was this a defeat for the president? or is the president seen as a fighter, and as a fighter that something that 90% of americans believe in, background checks. how does this cut in the 2014 midterms. >> first on the president, andrea. i think it's the possibility that it's a both "and" to your question. he is both defeated in this and he comes out of this looking like a fighter. the simple fact is this, andrea. this is something that the president of the united states and the vice president of the united states put themselves rhetorically on the line behind. saying the time is now, things are different, we are committed to changing it and there will not be that change that they thought they could bring about. that said, the president was very careful to say this is the first round of a fight. i think the next obvious round is the 2014 election. and chuck will back me up on this. the problem there is there are 14 republicans up in 2014, andrea, one of them, susan collins, sits in the state that president obama won in 2012. and susan collins voted for cloture, that is to begin the debate and she voted for the manchin-toomey amendment. so of the issues are from mark pryor, mark begich. these are people that are democrats. i can't imagine president obama going after his own to prove his point on background checks organs. i could be wrong. >> heidi heitkamp is not up. >> not until 2018. >> i've heard this from other democratic strategist who is are working on house and senate races. the president actually was articulating the message that democrats are trying to come up with. sort of justifying how they, which is the idea of trying to isolate the republicans and say hey, the republicans in congress are not on your side. so you heard the president say, 90% of democrats were with the 90%, 90% of republicans were not so trying to paint republicans as out of the mainstream. >> what about the fact that he also criticized democrats. how did that go down with the caucus? >> i'm sure it didn't go down very well. but rhetorically they were helped in the fact that even if all the democrats had voted with, had voted for manchin-toomey, they still would have been short. there have been a lot of republicans saying how come you don't talk enough about the bipartisan coalition. the problem is it wasn't a bipartisan coalition, you can't sit there and look at it. there was a bipartisan coalition that almost put cornyn's amendment and got it to the 60 votes, and the fact that cornyn's amendment got more than manchin-toomey is the politics of guns right there, tells the story. >> president obama had powerful words of solidarity for boston. at today's service, at the cathedral of the holy cross. >> like you, michelle and i have walked these streets. like you, we know these neighborhoods. and like you, in this moment of grief we join you in saying boston, you're my home. we've all had those moments. when you lost the thing you can't believe you lost. when what you just bought, just broke. or when you have a little trouble a long way from home... as an american express cardmember you can expect some help. but what you might not expect, is you can get all this with a prepaid card. spends like cash. feels like membership. departure. hertz gold plus rewards also offers ereturn-- our fastest way to return your car. just note your mileage and zap ! you're outta there ! we'll e-mail your receipt in a flash, too. it's just another way you'll be traveling at the speed of hertz. because every flake is double-toasted... splashed with sweet honey... and covered in rich double-roasted peanuts. mmm. 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[ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus. ♪ oh what a relief it is! ♪ [ male announcer ] to learn more about the cold truth and save $1 visit alka-seltzer on facebook. >>> the at kohl, tobacco and firearms national response team is expected to arrive at the site of the fertilizer plant explosion later today, this as harrowing stories emerged overnight from west, texas residents running to for their lives. >> i didn't know what was happening, why it was happening. i just know that it was just -- loud, loud, booming. and people screaming and running and -- i just know that we were, i was just trying to get my son to safety and stuff. >> a short time ago, texas governor rick perry provided this update. >> president obama called from air force as he was en route to boston and we greatly appreciate his call and his gracious offer of support of course. and very quick turn-around of the emergency declaration that will be forthcoming. and his his offer of prayers. we greatly appreciate the president for his, his call. >> joining me now on the phone is ken surrey, an editor for the "waco tribune herald." what's the latest on the investigation, we were hearing from charles hadlock from nbc that they don't think there's a criminal side to this, but they have to shut everything down. what are you hearing from your sources? >> that's what they're looking at right now. there doesn't seem to be any indication that that would be the case. the officer that was, that announced it earlier was basically saying they wanted to treat it as that. and really put their focus on it. but it really doesn't look like that would be the case. it will probably just be a very tragic accident. >> we expect there will be more casualties. would these be among the first responders, they were firearm, as you know, better than anyone fighting the fire when it blew up. >> exactly. there are several that are currently listed as missing. it certainly doesn't look good for those individuals, currently they are being considered missing. there are search and rescue efforts still on. it's not a recovery at this point. but enter is a full expectation that numbers of casualties, fatalities will increase. >> and they have course are, it's a volunteer fire force, so these are your average citizens, the mayor was, was part of the firefighting team he had said earlier. everyone is participating in that, as a town. >> exactly, it's a small town. and you just get that kind of community support. and effort. everyone pitches in. >> what about the plant itself? how long has the plant been there. and were there ever safety considerations or concerns, inspections that you knew of previously? >> we didn't know a whole lot earlier. we have found out a little bit more today. there was an inspection back in 2007 where they did recognize the fact that it was you know, close to a couple of schools. near the, the nursing facility. but the, the texas department of quality said it was a minimal concern despite the proximity. there was an incident in february where there was a small fire that people had called 911 but it was a controlled burn. just someone getting more concerned with the fact that they saw it and knew there was a school nearby. but that turned out to be next to nothing. of you know, sadly, that's not the case today. >> indeed it isn't. ken surrey, thank you for taking the time to talk about the devastating fire and explosion. that really leveled the town. >>> and back in boston, an emotional pre-game ceremony during last night's bruins game in boston. the first professional sporting event since monday's bombings. as the legendary renney rancourt started off the national anthem singing alone, the crowd quickly joined in. ♪ oh say does that star-spangled banner yet wave ♪ ♪ oer the land of the free ♪ and the home of the brave >> even though the bruins ended up losing to the sabres, after the game, both teams gathered at center ice to raise their sticks in a show of support for boston. ♪ [ female announcer ] life is full of little tests, but your basic paper towel can handle them. especially if that towel is bounty basic. the towel that's 50% stronger. in this lab demo even just one select-a-size sheet of bounty basic is stronger than one full sheet of the leading bargain brand. everyday life? bring it with bounty basic. the strong, but affordable picker-upper. >>> secretary of state john kerry wasn't able to be in his native boston for today's memorial service, boston was not far from his mind as he testified today. >> there's no secret that my heart and my head are in boston today, with the president. with the families. with a lot of friends. >> you know, you watch people running towards the chaos to help. you saw runners continue running from the marathon to the hospital to give blood. >> you saw people opening their homes to give comfort to complete strangers. it was just a remarkable outpouring. >> and tomorrow at 1:15 eastern i'll be moderating secretary of state kerry's first-ever google-plus hangout, we'll participate in a live online conversation, what's in it for america to engage in the world. you can watch it live on the state department's google plus page and we'll have highlights for you here on msnbc. 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[ female announcer ] ask your doctor about lyrica today. it's specific treatment for diabetic nerve pain. to hear more of phyllis's story, visit lyrica.com. >>> welcome back, congresswoman shelly pingtree testified in the house yesterday in support of ruth more act to pave the way for veterans to receive disability benefits linked to sexual assaults in the military. the bill's namer battled for 20 years to collect benefits for her ptsd. congresswoman joins me with ruth more and the executive director of the servicewomen's action network. welcome to all of you. congresswoman let me ask you, what's the state of play of the bill? i know there were hearings on the senate side, that senator gillenbrand conducted. you have held these hearings on the house side. what has to happen next to get the ruth moore act passed by congress? >> well, we're very enthusiastic about this bill. senator tester as a companion bill in the senate and just this week we had a hearing in front of the veteran subcommittee, i think it got a very favorable response. chairman miller, the actual chair was there and they're planning to have a mark-up of it soon and we're just working on our goal to negotiate the language to get it through the place we want and we have high hopes for this moving forward. the congress's level of awareness of what should not be an issue that our military patriots have to face, has been raised tremendously over the last couple of years. and many of my colleagues have introduced bills this one we hope is starting to move forward and it couldn't have happened without the tremendous advocacy work of swan. but also without courageous people like ruth moore who have the guts to come forward and tell their story, not easy by any measure. >> and here you are today, appearing on television and talking about it ruth is not a simple fact. talk to me about what you experienced and why you think this is necessary. >> i experienced a culture in the military that wasn't conducive to helping survivors. and i kept secret for many years because i was uncomfortable. and i didn't want to really share it. so when i started seeing the public opinion change, and i saw representative pingree's reg legislation come forward, i knew it was time to talk and to share my experience. >> and one of the things that was so shocking that i heard at the senate hearings, was that so many of the convicted offenders returned to their units. an astounding percentage. just returned to their units under the military code, i never understood this. how can you commit a sexual offense and not be drummed out of the military? >> well the amazing case was the recent aviano air base case where a general overturned the sexual assault conviction of a junior officer, a lieutenant colonel. he had been convicted by a jury in a court-martial. >> i think it was unanimous. >> yes. and the general basically looked in and said -- you're free, you're free to go. and so -- >> is that being reviewed by the pentagon now? >> yes, secretary hagen completed his review and amazingly, it prompted proposal by the secretary of defense to change a portion of military law. it's not enough, but it's a good start. >> congresswoman, are you finding that the pentagon under chuck hagel, i know he hasn't been in office very long, he had a rocky confirmation process, do you have their attention? and are they responsive to your requests? >> they absolutely are. i don't think it could have gone anywhere near far enough. they say we have a zero tolerance policy and there's nothing like a zero tolerance policy going on out there. about you have increasing members of congress who are actively engaged in this conversation. recently a group of us were over at the pentagon meeting with the vice chiefs of staff at all levels, they are saying we're trying to change the culture. we're trying to change the training, we're trying to change our ability to talk about this. and part of what they need to do is change the number of prosecutions and laws. as anu said and you've heard, the military code of justice does not exactly follow civilian law. and there are reasons it's different. but civilian law was updated a long time ago with respect to how victims should be treated, the issue of privacy. and it's time that the military changes the code of justice and also real prosecution, so that people can feel safe coming forward and telling their story. these are people serving our country in the military. it happens to men and women. but the culture has been, don't you dare come forward, you may lose your job, the pain work may be lost. you will be branded as mentally unstable and interfere with your unit cohesion. all kinds of things that have been drummed into people. and these are hard-working brave, brave, courageous women and men who are serving, who shouldn't have to serve under these conditions. >> the congresswoman makes a good point, ruth, is that men also experience these sexual assaults. i remember the testimony of one man who said he was shamed, because his fellow, fellow seamen i think that they were, i think he was in the navy, they all felt that he was complicit. that he had invited the attack rather than being attacked. >> yeah. that's a really common idea or scenario that men have. when i went to d.c. last time, i had a male ts following me around the airport and sharing that he was a survivor. and he thanked me for coming out. >> he's aware of your testimony? >> yeah. it was really empowering. >> what an impact. >> anu, that must be very at least until you get this legislation passed, that must make you feel as though you're really accomplishing something as you represent your fellow former officers. >> we do feel like we're accomplishing a lot. we have 125 fellow veterans on capitol hill sharing their stories about being stories about being sexually assaulted while they were in the military. they're doing that courageous step so others don't get assaulted and harmed. >> are there retaliations or do they have to worry about their safety, those still in the sfts, in the unit? >> absolutely. there's still a huge fear of retaliation. we get calls from even overseas where people are afraid to report because their commanding officers or fellow members of their unit will not support them and they see so few cases are prosecuted that occasionally even convictions are overturned and that doesn't inspire much faith in the system. >> thank you so much for what you're doing. ruth moore, you have stood up so bravely. there will be a bill and it will have your name on it and you will be thanked by generations of military officers and men and women and the rank and file and congresswoman, thank you so much. we'll come back. >> thank you for what you're doing for us. >> you bet. >>> and following the memorial service in boston today the president went across the street to the ka thee dram high school gym where he thanked members of the boston athletics association. that is the group that hosts and volunteers for the marathon. >> i'm not going to speak long. you'll start calling me reverend oba. on the main message in addition to having the chance to shake some hands and give some hugs is just to say how proud the whole country is of you. how grateful we are -- how grateful we are that in the face of chaos and tragedy, all of you displayed the very best of the american spirit. >> thank you. >> you displayed grit. you displayed compassion. you displayed civic duty. you displayed courage. and when we see that kind of spirit, there's something about that that's infectious. it makes us all want to be better people. you've inspired the entire country. you've inspired the world. and for that you should be profoundly proud. but, you know, as de-val and i were talking as we were driving in from the airport, the key is that we hang onto a little bit of that. because it's right there under the surface. it expresses itself in the marathon. it expresses itself in patri patrioti patriotism. it expresses itself in all the small interaction, expressions of kindless and generosity and toleran tolerance, and compassion. it's the fabric of our lives. we don't always celebrate it or pay attention to it. it's not usually celebrated on tv. it's not what's reported on. but that's who we are. and if there was anything that was a theme in that interfaith service is that out of these ashes, out of the blood that's spilled and the injuries worn, we get a chance to see and high light and appreciate that spirit. and we've got to sustain it because, you know, in all of our lives at some point there are going to be some troubles, and there's equal in the world and there's hardship but if that spirit is evident and manifest and that's what we're keep teaching our kids and that's what we're embodying in our own lives, then who can stop us? who can touch us? so thank you, everybody. i'm proud of you. i'm proud of boston. and i just said i'm looking forward to the 118th boston marathon. god bless you. >> and that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." remember, follow the show online and on twitter. my colleague tamron hall has a look at what's next on "newsnation." >> hi, everyone. search and rescue operations continue in west, texas, after a massive explosion at a fertilizer report and now there are reports there were concerns of the proximity of that plant to homes and schools. >>> and republican opposition may have stopped back ground checks on guns but what about immigration reform. the bipartisan senators working on reform are now aiming to stop conservative attacks. we'll have the tales as they unveil their new legislation, new bill in the next hour. we'll bring you more on that live. >>> as for the gun fallout, gun debate, the president says that was round one. what's up for round two? plus what a newtown family member said that rand paul said the president was using newtown families as, quote, props. that's all next on "newsnation." e would absolutely not have taken a zip line in the jungle. (screams) i'm really glad that girl stayed at home. vo: expedia helps 30 million travelers a month find what they're looking for. one traveler at a time. expedia. find yours. to your table for a limited time! it's our seafood dinner for two for just 25 dollars! a handcrafted seafood feast made to share. first you each get salad and unlimited cheddar bay biscuits. then choose two from a wide variety of chef-inspired entrées like our new honey garlic crispy shrimp or new seafood lover's linguini. round out your seafood dinner with your choice of either an appetizer or dessert to share! don't miss our seafood dinner for two, just $25 at red lobster, where we sea food differently. i remember thinking there's a lot i have to do... check my blood sugar, eat better. start insulin. today i learned there's something i don't have to do anymore. my doctor said with levemir® flexpen... i don't have to use a syringe and a vial. levemir® flexpen comes prefilled with long-acting insulin taken once daily for type 2 diabetes to help control high blood sugar. dial the exact dose. inject by pushing a button. no drawing from a vial. no refrigeration for up to 42 days. levemir® (insulin detemir [rdna origin] injection) is not recommended to treat diabetic ketoacidosis. do not use levemir® if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. the most common side effect is low blood sugar, which may cause symptoms such as sweating, shakiness, confusion, and headache. severe low blood sugar can be serious and life threatening. ask your health care provider about alcohol use, operating machinery, or driving. other possible side effects include injection site reactions. tell your health care provider about all medicines you take and all of your medical conditions. get medical help right away if you experience serious allergic reactions such as body rash, trouble with breathing, fast heartbeat, or sweating. flexpen® is insulin delivery my way. covered by most insurance plans, including medicare. ask your health care provider about levemir® flexpen today. >>> hi, everyone. i' news. the on going search after the massive explosion in texas. we're getting our first view of the air from texas. right now rescuers are going door to door looking for people who may still be trapped in their smouldering homes. cameras captured the explosion and the horrified reaction. >> are you okay? >> dad, dad, i can't hear. >> cover your ears. >> let's get out of here. please, get out of here. >> the blast showered shrapnel and debris on the up to and terrified people miles way. >> it rattled everything in the house.
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Apr 18, 2013 10:00pm PDT
big electric fences to serve as the last line of defense during flooding to keep asian carp from migrating into a canal that runs directly into lake michigan. tonight, with all of the flooding in and around chicago, the fear is that the river will soon crest above the height of those fences. rendering them useless and potentially sending asian carp right into a waterway in which there is no last line of defense. and then what happens to the great lakes. forecasters say all of the rain in the chicago area is ending tonight. but what that means for the threat of the dreaded asian carp invasion we have been fighting so long and we now have an asian carp for here in washington, on that we will have to keep you posted. now it's time for "the last word" with lawrence o'donnell again in boston tonight. have a great night. >> people are already calling the fbi tonight, hoping to help identify the two men suspected of planting bombs here in boston. bombs that killed three people, including the 8-year-old boy who will never return to the third grade classroom that i visited today. >> at this time, these are the people of interest. somebody out there knows these individuals. >> authorities have the face. >> we consider them to be armed and extremely dangerous. >> it's not going to take long for somebody to recognize these people. >> no bit of information, no matter how small or seemingly inconsequential is too small. that. >> investigation could be moving faster, were it not for the successful lobbying efforts of the national rifle association. >> the nra has acted shamefully. >> this bill only managed to win 54 votes. >> if the nra didn't score this, we would have had 15 more votes. >> is there any difference between sandy hook and boston other than the choice of weapon? >> the president and first lady are already on their way to attend an interfaith service. >> every one of us has been touched by this attack on your beloved city. >> how can a good god allow bad things to happen? >> we are are shaken, we are are not foresaken. >> god's love will yet have the last word. >> we will have accountability without vengeance. vigilance without fear. >> they picked the wrong city to do it. not here in boston. >>> tonight, the fbi has a new most wanted list. these guys. the fbi is asking for your help in finding two suspects described as armed and extremely dangerous. during a press conference earlier this evening, investigators put out this video of the two men, both wearing caps and dark jackets, walking through the marathon crowd on monday. special agent in charge richard de sonia said the nation is counting on information provided to us. he said anyone with any information should call 1-800-call-fbi. we're going to be showing you this video over and over again tonight, in the hope that some of you might see something, anything helpful to the fbi. and although the nation is rightfully fixated on the details of this investigation, here in boston, many are only able to glance at the investigation headlines through their grief and mourning. for boston, the loss suffered on monday feels personal, even to people who don't personally know any of the victims. president obama came to the cathedral of the holy cross today, just a short walk from the finish line of the marathon to talk to boston and the nation about that personal loss. >> our prayers are with the richard family of dorchester. to denise and the young daughter, jane. as they fight to recover. and our hearts are broken for 8-year-old martin with his big smile and bright eyes. his last hours were as perfect as an 8-year-old boy could hope for. with his family, eating ice cream at a sporting event. and we're left with two enduring images of this little boy. forever smiling for his beloved bruins. and forever expressing a wish he made on a blue poster board. no more hurting people. peace. no more hurting people. peace. >> today i visited with the school where those words were written. no more hurting people. peace. the neighborhood house charter school is in the neighborhood where i grew up, dorchester. and it is the richard family school. i saw martin richard's desk in the third grade classroom that he'll never return to. i saw his little sister jane's desk in her first grade classroom that she will surely return to when she recovers from the loss of a leg. and i saw the school library that would have closed down, were it not for the personal efforts of martin and jane's mother, denise, who is the school librarian. she is in a boston hospital tonight, recovering from serious head injuries. no family suffered more on monday than the richard family. and no boston institution has suffered more from the bombing than the neighborhood house charter school. i used to be a teacher in the boston public schools, and i've never seen a better elementary school here than the neighborhood house charter school, which was co founded by the headmaster, kevin andrews, 18 years ago. mr. andrews invited me into his house today. >> kevin, on monday, everyone in boston and everyone from boston spent some period of time, hours, for some of us, tracking down everyone we know, making sure they were safe. what was that afternoon like for you? >> frankly, it was -- prior to the bombing, was a great day in boston. my wife and our god child had gone to the marathon at heartbreak hill. and we said, what a great day it is. and, you know, we went back home and, you know, had lunch. late lunch. and everything was great. and then on tv we hear about these bombings. and never could really -- explosions, they called them. so at first you kind of think, gas company. oh, here we go again. another mistake. but it wasn't the gas company. and then emotions kicked in pretty heavy. and i started praying right away. with my wife. and just said, you know, we hope everybody is wrong. but at that time we had heard that martin had lost his life. and that was hard. no sleep that night. and we heard about jane. and, you know, we prayed some more. for them and then denise. you know, who is -- the library is going to be closed down at the end of last year. we ran out of kind of funds. and denise said she would even volunteer for a small salary, whatever it is. i would like to keep the library open. and for a small salary she kept the library open part time. she is a pretty remarkable woman. very wonderful with the kids. firm. she is a firm person. she is a real mother of three kids. you know. everybody is going to toe the line, do what you're told. don't ask more than once. kind of a model mother you want to have raising your children. every time i would come through the library to go to my office, i would say, good morning, denise. good morning, mr. andrews. i remember one time i told her, you can call me kevin. and she said, i know, mr. andrews. >> so this library is really denise's monument. it literally wouldn't be here without her. >> yeah. i mean, we were going to close it down. i mean, there's no question. we weren't -- maybe the books would still be here. but there wasn't going to be a librarian. and i wasn't about to have kids check out the books and come back and everything -- the dewy decimal system is all kind of screwed up. and, you know, dr. seuss is over near the geography area, you know. so you've got to have someone here. and she stepped up. >> have you been able to speak to denise? >> no. the family really wants privacy. so i think it's just family that's involved. maybe some close friends. and we really here in dorchester respect privacy. someone tells you they want the privacy in dorchester, you give them privacy. >> we know what they mean. >> we know what they mean. so we give it to them. >> so this is martin's classroom up here. >> yep. this is martin's classroom. third grade. his locker is here. that's his locker. and his time line, there is a picture of him on the beach. this is the classroom. and there's martin's -- here he is. math scores. up to his tens. i don't know if he'll catch jack. but he's pretty up there. martin is doing pretty well. >> yeah. >> pulling a strong second right now. there he is. great classroom. great teachers. you know, good student. quiet kid. you know. quiet kid, strong boston accent. loves sports, loves the bruins. loves the celtics. loves the red sox. really loves dustin pedroia. that's his favorite athlete. >> what is your plan for monday? especially in this classroom? when everyone knows martin is not going to return? >> well, we're going to acknowledge, martin is missing. martin will no longer be with us. we'll have professionals here, along with the teachers, to work with the young people. monday is going to be hard. we'll do what we have to do to allow the children to express themselves, no matter what happens during the day, for the week, if it takes a month, whatever it takes. we're going to bring back normalcy to the school. so our kids are ready. and they will be. we'll give them a hug. and we'll move on. and they're going to learn. we're going to tell them, you've got to still learn. you've still got to be smart. how can we be as smart as martin. how can we do our math facts as well as martin. >> now, the president is a great writer, and he's a great speech writer. he's got a lot of great speech writers working for him. but today the most poignant line in the cathedral was written by one of your third graders. it was written by martin. >> we're left with two enduring images of this little boy. forever smiling for his beloved bruins and forever expressing a wish he made on a blue posterboard. no more hurting people. peace. no more hurting people. peace. >> what was it like for you as an educator, sitting in it that cathedral today to hear the president quoting the work done by one of your students in this room? >> he needs more consultants like martin. sometimes kids just get it right. you know, it was -- it's hard. you know? so it's hard hearing those words. it's hard hearing his name. it's easy for me to talk about it. but to listen is when the emotion comes in. and so i was, you know, taken away by that. you know. as that -- here's martin again. >> let's go take a look at the classroom that jane is going to be coming back to. >> sure. they're honoring her. the kids made some cards and honor her. jane. we're very happy that they're doing this for them. so it's going to be hard. going to be hard. it's a good school. i guess i would say it 100 times. it's a good school, good staff. that's how come when jane comes back, kids come back, we're going to be able to really embrace this as something to learn from, to help us make our student body even stronger. and so we're not -- this makes us stronger. you know. we're -- there's a lot of heart in this school. a lot of family in this school. a lot of determination, resilience. but, you know, she still will be jane, and i'll still joke with jane. and i'll -- you know, the joke i have with her, my own personal joke, my wife's name is jane. and so i always say to jane, "why do i love you, jane?" "because your wife's name is jane." and she smiles and will come over and give me a hug or show me something. she is probably going to be more resilient than most adults. and we'll take her home because we love her. >> well, i think jane is pretty lucky to be coming back to a school run by kevin andrews. that's what i think. >> jane is pretty lucky to have her teachers. jane is lucky. >> thanks. >> thanks. >> i also learned today that for halloween jane dressed up as michelle obama. >>> coming up next, the fbi tells nbc news they are already getting phone calls and information from people who think they know the bombing suspects. that's next. and the nra makes this country less safe in more ways than you realize. we will show you how the nra has weakened the investigative tools in bombing investigations. >>> and later, we'll have more of what the president had to say in the cathedral in boston today. most people think that after an accident, you'll have to pay five hundred bucks for your deductible. the truth? at allstate, you could pay zero. allstate gives you a hundred dollars off your deductible the day you sign up. then another hundred off every year you don't have an accident. let the good hands reward your safe driving with a deductible that goes away. ♪ deductible rewards. one more way you're in good hands with allstate. >>> with breaking news. in cambridge, massachusetts, just outside of boston, an m.i.t. campus police officer has been shot and killed after responding to a disturbance there. nbc's kerry sanders is in cambridge for us. kerry, what can you tell us? >> reporter: mara, there were reports of a disturbance here on the m.i.t. campus, and an m.i.t. police officer responded. apparently, that police officer was shot multiple times. the security team here says that he was transported to a hospital where he was reported dead. the authorities then converged on the area as they swarmed the area, there were some explosions that were heard a short distance away. and many of the officers then traveled over towards watertown where there are many officers now converging to find out if that is related to what happened here. mara? >> kerry, thanks so much. "last word" is coming up. >>> once again, these are the men the fbi is asking you to help find. the fbi says they are armed and dangerous, and says they are suspects in the boston bombing investigation. if you think you see anything here, any way that you can help, call the fbi tip line. 1-800-call-fbi. the latest is coming up next. 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>> well, we looked at them carefully this afternoon, trying to see how these guys interacted with each other. the task force has done a great job. look at number two. i call him white hat. he's got that light-colored top on his backpack, and the parcel fits with video we have seen in the week, pete williams has reported on. and we looked at that carefully, and that's the scene of the blast of the second bomb. so this guy has planted the second bomb. we looked at the dark hat guy as they walk. it's just interesting that the dark hat guy looks a little older, walks in the front. and his bomb detonates first. they don't have a video of him planting the bomb. but the -- special agent in charge said they pieced it together. and what they pieced together was the backpack. i'm sure they pieced together the backpack. it's possible he could have laid his hat on the backpack. so they could have found the hat and the backpack. but they were able from the video to say a backpack looking just like that was there. they probably have video of these guys communicating and talking. that's an interesting report about his reaction. these cowards are probably exhibiting some glee and joy at this, you know, vulgar thing they did. but that's going to be they're undoing as well. >> yeah -- >> they underestimated -- they underestimated law enforcement. and they underestimated the resilience of boston. and william pollard would describe it as the arrogance of ignorance. they're going to be caught soon. >> james, underestimating law enforcement and the resources they can bring to this, is the most useful mistake that criminals like this make in these situations, isn't it? >> well, it's true. they underestimate the capability. look, you've got the a-team here. if you look at every great celtics team, red sox team, bruins team, rolled them together, all the players, that's the investigative team. they're going to win. they're going to -- they're going to solve the case. you can see it develop in 72 hours. that was a heartbreaking piece you just did at the elementary school. and i've seen all too many bombing victims over the years. and it's a vulgar crime. a mass murder by bombings and firearms are vulgar, vulgar crimes. >> james, before you go tonight, we're going to talk about this later in the show. but we discussed last night what the nra did, and its lobbying campaign years ago to make these investigations more difficult. and i'd like to you just describe that one more time. because i've got to tell you, people were absolutely shocked about what you had to say about this last night. >> well, lawrence, in the '70s, i was an agent, just left the police, came to work for atf, we were deep into bomb investigation. the 1968 gun control act came in as a result of the three assassinations. john kennedy, robert kennedy and dr. king in '68. in '70, the explosive control act on the heels of the clan murdering, those four little girls in birmingham with bombs. anarchist bombs, weather under ground. a lot of bombings. congress passed the explosive control act. atf went to work trying to develop these indestructible ways we could track the bomb after it detonated and it was killed on the hill. i could never -- not tell you how we reacted in atf headquarters. special agents were like, really? the bombers have a lobby on the hill? we can't get this through? to catch bombers? really? i mean, we just couldn't believe it. and it was killed. it was also killed again later in the late '80s or early '90s. we tried to do it again. i'll tell you what, lawrence. i bet there is a congressman or senator that watches your show and they could go back to atf and dust that plan off, it's on the shelf, and reintroduce a bill to tag commercial explosives so we can track them. consider tracking smokeless gun powders. and they won't solve every case but some cases and keep a city from this kind of carnage. >> it would be awful helpful to have that evidence tonight. james cavanaugh, thank you very much for joining me again tonight. >> thanks, lawrence. >>> coming up, more with investigative reporter frank smyth on exactly how the nra has its hand in this investigation. and a very unhelpful way. tting . you know how to dance... with a deadline. and you...rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle... and go. you can even take a full-size or above, and still pay the mid-size price. this is awesome. 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[ male announcer ] advair diskus fluticasone propionate and salmeterol inhalation powder. get your first prescription free and save on refills at advaircopd.com. >>> as reported last night on this program, the national rifle association has a hand in the bombing investigation in boston, and it is not a helping hand. the nra does not limit itself to making sure that the most lethal possible weapons and ammunition remain available to america's mass murderers. the nra did have a big victory on that front yesterday. in the united states senate. here was former congresswoman gabby giffords' husband's reaction to that senate vote. >> if that vote had been a secret ballot, i bet you it would have passed with 80 votes. a lot of the senators that we met with over the past days and weeks, you know, we discussed this legislation with them. we talked to them about how it would work. what it would do. and most of them -- actually, almost all of them said they were in favor of the policy on the merits. they thought it was the right policy. but a lot of them, those folks that voted no yesterday, many of them were looking to get to a no. and it was out of one thing. it was out of fear. again, if yesterday's vote was a secret vote, it would have passed, no doubt. >> as you just heard in the last segment from james cavanaugh, decades ago, the nra quietly and successfully lobbied to make bombing investigations much more difficult for the investigators. joining me now with that story is frank smyth, investigative journalist and contributor with msnbc.com. frank, it was your article that i read last night that broke this story. i had a vague memory as i was reading your piece that the nra had succeeded that way. but tell us what you found about their history with this -- >>> breaking news out of massachusetts. there have been reports of explosions and ongoing violence in watertown, massachusetts. at this time, we're going to listen into the coverage of our affiliate whdh in boston. >> one of the most vulnerable positions i've ever been in. >> absolutely, the cops flanked the left side of the street, i was running up the right side. i didn't have too much cover, i was ducking in between people's steps and stairs and trying to stay safe, but get the shot. >> and i was reporting on the phone when we got here i could smell something in the air. and to me, it smelled either like a gun powder substance or burning rubber or electrical. did you notice this? >> yeah, we went up one of the side streets here and there was some sort of haze in the air, some sort of smoke, and you can -- like you said, the rubber smell, but i don't know what it was. >> we don't know what it was either. we don't know if that was -- we don't believe because we got here just as police did that it was police firing, you know, sometimes they have these empty shells they fire or gas they put out. i think, i don't know something we'll work on confirming whether police discharged that or whether it was somebody else. we certainly heard that. where is chris lambert? can you come in? chris, without telling everybody where you live, lives in the area, and what did you hear? you heard before the sirens. >> i was on the other side of the scene from where you were. and kind of had been following this whole thing watching you guys on the news and twitter and following the situation in cambridge. and there were reports on twitter everything was headed toward watertown. at that point, i turned the tv down to take a look outside. we are on a main road, i could hear gunfire, what i assume was gunfire off in the distance. didn't at first sound like it was in the same location. sounded like a different spot than where that whole scene unfolded. then it subsided, heard more shots and almost immediately you could see the cops following. >> hang on one second, chris. let's look at what's going on here. we have some movement with police and we have an ambulance pulling out. this ambulance was a ways back. i'll try to get a look in as it passes by. you can see the police making way for this ambulance, which is stationary at the moment. the crime area still cordoned off. so it's not like they've finished or begun processing the scene here. here's this one balance. and i'll try to get a glimpse in. we've got a cambridge police car or an everett police car making way for the ambulance. trying to get a look at -- get a look inside. >> we just lost that shot. that is bad timing, unfortunately. we'll try to get that back up momentarily. when adam finds out for us, he'll let us know. >> we're watching coverage of nbc news boston, whdh on a developing news story out of that area. there are reports of explosions and gunfire in watertown, massachusetts. this after earlier reports of violence in nearby cambridge, massachusetts, where an m.i.t. campus police officer was fatally shot this evening. nbc news' kerry sanders is live on the scene in watertown with the latest. what can you tell us about what's happening there tonight? >> reporter: well, things have certainly calmed down for a moment. the anxiety was quite high. the officers are still pushing people out of the way. the anxiety is relatively down. the officers chased over here, about 15 miles an hour if you were driving a normal speed to watertown. the witnesses here in watertown say they heard three distinctive booms. and when i asked them, did they sound like gun shots, they were very certain to say they did not sound like gun shots, but rather like booms. we've been trying to piece together some of this. we believe the officers may have taken one person into custody and that they were pursuing another person when those booms took place. that other person may or may not be in custody. but i would suggest by what i'm viewing here right now that the other person is no longer in the area and likely in custody. simply because the officers have calmed the scene down. i have not seen this many police officers from this many different agencies in one location in a very long time in my career. you had an armored personnel carrier, s.w.a.t. team members her here, just about every police officer that could get in the area left that area. the m.i.t. area where the officer was shot and killed has just a small contingent of officers there. officers rushed over here, sirens blazing, there are lots of people on the streets here. lots of people who live in the area who came out, who heard what was going on. i see we can walk up to somebody who heard what was going on. were you here when this was happening? well, give me a moment. >> well, kerry, if i can interrupt you with a quick question. you know, all eyes on the boston area this week, of course because of those tragic bombings at the marathon. is there any indication now, especially as police have identified a suspect that any of this violence is connected to the boston bombing case. >> reporter: you know, that is the number one question, and we don't have an answer. we don't have an official answer. and we don't want to speculate. i will say as a reporter who covers urban america, you don't hear about booms in our cities in america routinely. we had patriots day, we had the explosions that took out, well, 176 people were wounded and now we have this going on here. i know this young woman who is here. why don't you tell me what you heard as you were driving here? >> i heard two loud booms and then i -- on mt. auburn street. i headed to the boom and saw cruisers. >> what did you do? you were in your car? >> yeah. >> and did those booms sound like based on where i am, it's about three blocks from where the police are set up. and you still heard? did you feel any sense of a concussion? >> no, i was inside a car. i didn't feel anything. but -- it was loud enough that i didn't think it was a gun shot. i thought it was an explosion. >> and you've heard gun shots before to know the difference? >> yes, i would know the difference. >> okay. thank you very much. she's safe and looks like everybody else in the area is safe. we did see and you saw we were watching whdh, the ambulances that came through here. i looked in the back of one of the ambulances and did not see anybody in the ambulance. those two ambulances did not race out of here. and if there was somebody in there, they definitely would have been racing out of here to go to an area hospital. from a chaotic scene to much more calm scene now. the streets are closed, the officers have set up perimeter locations in at least three spots that i can see here. and if we were to be able to get further up the street, we might be able to get a better view of what took place up there. but obviously just as we saw in downtown boston after the bombing, that area will be closed off and it will be considered a crime scene and likely for some time, especially in the dark where it's a lot harder to find items that are there. >> and kerry, have you heard any reports of injuries or fatalities? >> the only fatality i can confirm is the one we've spoken about and that's the m.i.t. police officer who was shot multiple times and was reported dead when they rushed them to the hospital. >> and do we have any idea if there's any connection between the shooting at m.i.t. and the violence happening now? >> the contingent of officers who have been involved with dealing with what took place after the marathon, at the marathon, and the officers who are here are all part of the various police departments and the fbi that have been participating in that investigation. and remember, the officers are pushing us back even further now. they released the photographs at a news conference today. and when they released those police photographs that were taken from security cameras, they urged the public to look at those pictures and to call the fbi and to provide whatever information. so, you know, this could be completely disconnected. but there seems to be a line that you might want to draw here to say that from the release of those pictures to the public viewing them to the number of calls that the fbi said they did indeed get and they got lots of calls that there may have been some sort of information that led them. why there was the initial disturbance on the m.i.t. campus that the police officer responded to. we don't know. >> and, kerry, i want to keep you on the line one second if i may and bring our viewers up to speed. you are seeing and hearing two different things. we're hearing a live report from nbc's kerry sanders on the phone. we are watching live video coverage from nbc affiliate whdh in boston. the story as it's developing, explosions reported in the town of watertown, massachusetts. witnesses say they heard at least three booms this evening. there's speculation that at least one person may have been taken into custody. there's a massive police response there at this time. this follows earlier violence in cambridge, massachusetts, that's at about 4 1/2 miles away from watertown, roughly a 15-minute drive away. earlier then evening, an m.i.t. campus police officer was shot and killed and the suspect in that case is also still being pursued. kerry, i want to bring you in if i may. you mentioned that police were pushing reporters and the public back. and we actually could see from whdh's feed them asking people to move back. are there any ind ications ther potentially could be more explosions or gun shots? >> reporter: i don't think so. not only the relaxed nature in which the officers are asking the public to move back and the contingent of media, but that the officers themselves do not have weapons drawn. they do not appear to be on alert. as if they're expecting it could be a threat to them or anyone else. i think the threat has now dissipated. the number of ufofficers here h diminished. now i'm beginning to see some unmarked cars arrive, which may indeed be some from the fbi coming in here. they're a short distance away from here. >> and you were in cambridge covering the shooting at m.i.t., can you bring us to speed in that story? >> well, when i was over at cambridge, over at m.i.t., i was looking at 60 police officers who had set up a cordoned off of about 2 1/2 blocks. the officers are asking me to step back again here. excuse me. in that area as the officers were dealing with the scene at that location, it was not tense, which surprised me because we had an officer who had been shot multiple times and shortly thereafter had discovered that he had died. but the officers were not tense. and i began to sort of conclude that the threat that they had initially responded to they believed had already left. and it was not much later after then that we saw the police cars one by one and three by three and seven by seven and before we knew it, 15 pulling out at once racing. and i mean racing down the street heading over this direction to watertown. >> and again to our viewers who are just joining us, we're hearing from kerry sanders live on the phone on continuing violence in massachusetts. we're going to now listen in to our boston affiliate whdh and their live coverage of this developing story. >> exactly, i think we're looking at live pictures. i have a monitor. no, that's back to us. we are getting live pictures from another cameras. i've lost my train of thought. let me tell you where we are right now. we are in our 7 news truck. we can see the scene on the other side of me. one police officer telling us as long as we're close to the truck here, we could hang out and continue to broadcast to you. i can see a car that pulled up with two fbi agents inside. i'm not sure where they're going. and there's an fbi agent running toward where they set up the yellow tape running toward the end of the crime scene. we have seen in the last few minutes several of the police cars and that ambulance leaving the scene. that's not to say that they've cleared the scene by any means. in fact, it keeps getting bigger and bigger. we happen to be inside the scene right now technically. and the only reason because our truck is here and they told us as long as we stay close to our truck that we'll be all right. the video you're seeing now is some of the stuff we shot, i believe, when we first arrived. and just to take you back through that, i'm watching along with you. this is when we arrived and we found ourselves in the crime scene. police cars in front of us. there are the officers with their guns drawn. this is when things started to get quite urgent when we arrived here. of course, there was a quick and steady police response, but it didn't start to get real wild until a minute or two after our arrival. and that is when we were hearing even more gun shots, additional to the ones that we heard when we got on to the scene. that's when police drew their firearms and for whatever reason pushed back and took their own cover. and when we did what we needed to do to keep ourselves safe. >> and, adam, again, we're looking at this exclusive video of someone on the ground with about 10 police officers, their guns drawn on this person. we don't know yet who this person is. and we don't know why police backed up, do we? >> we have no idea. and we also have no idea the booms that we've heard, whether those were flash grenades or whether there was some sort of device that they've found suspicious. we don't know who deployed that. but, you see -- i'm watching the video for the first time now from the monitor in our 7 news truck, and i don't see anything on him. perhaps it was something he said. and i'm still not real sure, you guys, whether there could be another person. when we responded, if, indeed, this incident is related to the double armed robbery of the shell and the mobile gas stations on memorial drive, we were hearing suspects from police on the scene. again, this is just stuff we're hearing to try to make more sense in this story. not confirmed, just stuff we're hearing. >> we tried to take it sort of from the top of the events happening beginning with the m.i.t. officer, but we failed to mention the armed robberies that happened tonight, which is sort of a bizarre twist. we know we had somebody with a gun. can you walk us through them? where were you when you got the reports of the armed robbery? and is that what brought you to watertown? >> yeah, we were over at m.i.t. -- >> all right. unfortunately, we just lost adam's audio. we will get that back as soon as we can. so just standby. but -- >> to our viewers just joining us, we are covering developing news out of massachusetts. two separate incidences of violence there this evening. first, pictures out of watertown now, this is not live, this is taped replay of activity taking place earlier this evening in watertown. witnesses reported several explosions, at least three explosions taking place this evening. there are also reports of gun shots and some residents being evacuated. as far as we know, no reports of injuries or fatalities in watertown in that situation that is currently developing right now. earlier this evening in cambridge, massachusetts, an m.i.t. campus police officer was fatally shot. he was responding to reports of a shooting. reportedly responding to reports of a shooting, gun shots fired. authorities say he suffered multiple gun shot wounds and transported to the hospital and pronounced dead. at this time, that investigation is ongoing. officials saying no other victims in the m.i.t. shooting and no arrests have been made. so they are pursuing that suspect. the big question on everyone's mind is are these incidences related to one another? or the ongoing investigation in search for suspects in the boston marathon bombing. right now, i want to bring in kerry sanders who is live on the ground in watertown and earlier this evening was also in cambridge covering the m.i.t. shooting. kerry, if you can recap for our viewers joining us, are there any indications at this time any of this is related to the suspects in the marathon bombing case. >> the only indication would be that many of the officers who have been dealing specifically with the shooting of the police officer are the same officers who have been dealing with the bombing at the marathon finish line. i think i can describe some of the scene here in a moment. >> do you want the tape? >> i'm on the air, sir. hang on one second. okay. so -- sorry about that, i've got six people talking. >> feel free to take a minute to get yourself situated and i'll describe what we're seeing. we're taking a look at whdh's taped replay of activity earlier this evening. the nbc news affiliate in boston, massachusetts. and this video you're seeing is of law enforcement response to reports of explosions in watertown, massachusetts. of course, there was a heavy police response to these reports. witnesses say they heard at least three explosions and several gun shots. we have kerry sanders who is on the ground there, trying to get himself situated to provide us with the best perspective on this developing story. are you with us now? >> reporter: i am, indeed. and i think you can probably see, as well, some of what's going on. not sure. >> we can't see you. we're looking at taped replay. >> while we're working on that, let me talk to michael mcgee. he's a resident in the area. heard some of the activity, curious, came out. what did you see? what did you hear? >> i heard a lot of gun shots. >> gun shots. >> a lot of them. >> it was like you couldn't keep count. >> they were kind of in rapid fire. it sounded like a shootout, like they were moving. >> okay. >> then i definitely heard an explosion. and then another explosion and a louder explosion. in between the gun shots, there's a lot of crazy driving around. >> and this is -- are you hearing police? sirens as this is all going on? >> oh, absolutely. it was very loud, very chaotic. they were heading in both directions. sounded like they were actually chasing a suspect or somebody. i don't know what it was. it was definitely a shootout. >> what did you do yourself? did you just stand in awe? what did you do? >> stupidly, i drove my bike towards it. >> the curiosity gets you sometimes. well, thank you very much for that. so you heard what michael had to say. there are many others who are repeating the same story of what they heard and what they saw. you know, we did the drive, of course, if you were just driving normally, driving the speed, coming through the traffic lights, be about a 15-minute drive from m.i.t. over here. of course, the police officers arrived here much faster. another reporter who was here. he's with the nbc station in connecticut and he joins me now. george, tell me what you saw and really what you heard. i had my ear pieces in doing a live report so i didn't hear what you heard standing at the same location. >> we were there for the officer being shot at m.i.t., and it was my photographer who said, did you hear that? at the same time, some of the other reporters said, three booms, three booms. so at that point, there was somebody, another reporter listening to scanners and gave us an address, memorial drive in cambridge where they heard that -- said head that way. we started to see police cars. and you saw the police cars. >> yeah. >> and they were screaming. >> when i say they were driving fast, they were screaming. >> and maybe half dozen going as fast as they can the other way. we ended up basically just chasing them. and we chased them through cambridge here into watertown. as we got about five minutes away from m.i.t., there were probably at one point 60 cars in a row using up every lane flying. we stopped and pulled over to the sidewalk to let them by and started to shoot video. at that point, we heard a couple of pops, in the distance, three or four witnesses around us. at that point, we said those are gun shots, let's go. once the police and unmarked vehicles went by, we follow them here to mt. auburn, i think we were the second crew on the scene. it was still very hectic. police cars still showing up, they were turning around and so they would drive down the road and u-turn and come down another road. they were trying to circle this area. and that was really what we saw here. and within about 15, 20 minutes, witnesses starting to tell us stories as they were getting evacuated from the streets. >> what i think coming in here, may be a crime scene vehicle which, again, would be another sign of bringing in forensic experts. boston police special operations coming in. when he talks about the officers that were here, most of them had on bulletproof vests, some of them in camouflage, almost looking like members of the military. those are the s.w.a.t. team. the state s.w.a.t. teams deployed in this area. well, most of them now have taken their weapons and taken them down and are now dealing with just sort of a little bit of crowd control where we are. a little bit further up the street, if that is a crime scene, it's going to be closed for some time. they have to bring in quite a number of people. i'm curious, george, when you were standing here in those early moments -- by the way, it's about a four-mile distance. here we go. another car coming in. there comes another -- there comes in another team of s.w.a.t. in an unmarked panel van making their way in. the fact that those boom, boom, boom that michael over here told me he heard. your photographer heard. that was four miles away. consider the distance that the sound traveled from the explosions. >> the witnesses we spoke with said they heard at least one or two booms here on the scene in watertown. one witness heard between 20 and 50 shots. i spoke to a guy here who said he couldn't keep track it was in rapid succession. so i think we may have a live picture up right now. are we looking at a live picture from this location? >> still looking at video from whdh from the police response earlier this evening. if i can ask you to set the scene for what things look like right now. you did say that things had calmed down, appeared to have calmed down a little bit that police were no longer holding their weapons out visibly. have things settled down a little bit? >> reporter: absolutely. things have completely settled down. this is absolutely the aftermath of a situation. officers still walking with purpose from point to point, other officers dealing with crowd control. they put up yellow caution tape over most of the main drag here. keeping people back about -- i don't know, it's hard for me to say where the actual spot is where this happened. but they moved us back three city blocks from where it appears the main action took place earlier tonight. >> kerry, can you tell me what kind of area is this? is this a residential area, a business district? where is this taking place? >> reporter: this is in watertown, it's a commercial district, a main drag heading up the street here. you've got your dunkin donuts citizens bank, town diner, a hardware store. where the 7-eleven is, people come up and down the main drag. it's a very wide, two lanes on one side, two lanes on the other. main drag through town here. so you have normally on a given day traffic coming back and forth. there's traffic lights. >> have officials identified where they think these explosions came from? are we still trying to piece all that together? >> yeah, no, that's still coming together. it would appear that if they were chasing two suspects, which is what we believe they were doing. may have been taken into custody and maybe the second, as well because of what we're seeing here. that those explosions may have emanated from the two suspects, they may have been throwing something out the window. and i hesitate to suggest what they were throwing out because we don't have the details yet. and unfortunately, we don't have an authority here to provide the specific information on even the early preliminary analysis of what took place here. >> of course. >> there are so many different police agencies here to get to one single agency who is going to release the information much like we heard earlier today when the fbi was talking about the release in information that they wanted to come from one person and come out in sort of a linear direct fashion without little pieces of, you know, hearsay or speculation. that's the one thing -- and, again, i can't say this is connected, but certainly many of the police officers dealing with the bombing of the boston marathon are the same officer
MSNBC
Apr 19, 2013 7:00am PDT
go to pete williams which is live in washington. what's the latest? >> thanks. >> pete? >> sorry. good day. i think we have a better idea of why. we see this extraordinary security environment here in boston and the suburbs. understandable why in water where they believe that he may be holed up. that explains the situation around there. they think they know where he is, but not positive. there is a concern for the last couple of hours that he and his brother may have had accomplices and those accomplices may be at large and could be dangerous. this morning authorities found and disarmed another bomb in the boston area. i say another bomb. i mean a bomb today in the boston area. there is a concern about whether there could be other devices. you put all of those factorsing to and that's the explanation for the unprecedentedly strict security in boston and the suburbs right now. >> when you talk about the motivation and their state of mind and why they did what they did including the attempted robbery of that 7-11, you have got more information on the carjacking that occurred. they
MSNBC
Apr 16, 2013 4:00pm PDT
correspondent pete williams and former cia counterterrorism director larry johnson. two best guests we could have. pete, let's go back to that picture we just saw from whdh up there, boston affiliate of nbc. what are the experts making of the fact that it was there, that bag, whatever it is sitting there before the explosion and then in this picture taken afterwards you can see the smoke trailing up to the left there diagona diagonally? what does that tell us? >> it tells us it's something they're investigating, chris. they know, they believe very strongly that the bombs were brought to the scene in backpacks. but i think it's fair to say they're looking at whether after they got there, they put them in these shopping bags. now, that thing next to the -- to the bag that's just on the edge of the little spot shot circle there, that is a trash receptacle. could it be? it's a question. could it be the devices were placed in these trash bags next to trash receptacles to look inconspicuous? it's something that they're -- that they're studying and something that is a possibility. they don't
MSNBC
Apr 18, 2013 8:00pm PDT
pete williams. this is a big development. what's the latest? >> reporter: it is a big development. the pictures don't show crystal clear view of the faces, of course. there's pictures that the fbi has not released. as you noted, they do believe they have images showing the man in the white hat, planting the second bomb, in the one in front of the restaurant. by the way, we have seen that picture from our affiliate whdh in boston that shows the garbage bag next to the mailbox. they say that this is now that that is not the bomb. that the bomb was planted on the other side of that barrier. it's right near there, but just on the other side. in the release of these pictures, then, they have chosen which they think will be most helpful to people in being able to recognize themment granted, the faces are never crystal clear but they hope the totality of the clothes and what they were doing and where they were will cause people to call in. they are getting the response they asked for or getting a response, any way. a lot of names. but having names and knowing the right names will take sometim
MSNBC
Apr 18, 2013 4:00pm PDT
reports, we got one from pete williams a few minutes ago that the fbi has been getting names called in. they don't have a matchup yet. where do you think things are going? >> they are getting names called in and jonathan mentioned about running through the databases. that's going to be one of the first steps. they are going to get names and run it through all of the logical databases and see what flushes out. if they get further information, dates of birth or an address, then they will take it to the next logical step. things like looking for phone records, utility bills, anything that can help coop great the information called in and then just, you know, they will keep pulling on that thread until they figure out yes we need to go to the next step or this is washed out. the person is not the right, you know, age or whatever. but they are going to keep pulling strings until they find the person that they are looking for. >> don, your thoughts about what's going on right now at the operating center. >> well, i think there's a lot of things going on. i like the concept of yeah, they a
MSNBC
Apr 18, 2013 7:00pm PDT
week, pete williams has reported on. and we looked at that carefully, and that's the scene of the blast of the second bomb. so this guy has planted the second bomb. we looked at the dark hat guy as they walk. it's just interesting that the dark hat guy looks a little older, walks in the front. and his bomb detonates first. they don't have a video of him planting the bomb. but the -- special agent in charge said they pieced it together. and what they pieced together was the backpack. i'm sure they pieced together the backpack. it's possible he could have laid his hat on the backpack. so they could have found the hat and the backpack. but they were able from the video to say a backpack looking just like that was there. they probably have video of these guys communicating and talking. that's an interesting report about his reaction. these cowards are probably exhibiting some glee and joy at this, you know, vulgar thing they did. but that's going to be they're undoing as well. >> yeah -- >> they underestimated -- they underestimated law enforcement. and they underestimated the resilience of
MSNBC
Apr 18, 2013 9:00am PDT
all. i mean what pete williams was report something what the white house was reports that the white house was getting. >> watching all that, i think there is a concern, i think that may be why they delayed the release of the photos. i know they want the help of the public. they didn't do it because of the way the media has been overreacting. >> it is certainly a fluid situation. we'll be bringing you all of the updates as they come. that's all for now, thank you to chuck and robert. i'll see you back here at noon eastern, "andrea mitchell reports" is coming up next. girl vo: i'm pretty conservative. very logical thinker. (laughs) i'm telling you right now, the girl back at home would absolutely not have taken a zip line in the jungle. (screams) i'm really glad that girl stayed at home. vo: expedia helps 30 million travelers a month find what they're looking for. one traveler at a time. expedia. find yours. what thats's great. it won't take long, will it? nah. ok! this won't take long, will it? no, not at all. how many of these can we do on our budget? more than you think. that didn'
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